Image via Jakob Montrasio/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The University of Virginia is opening up a new office in Shanghai, and the celebration coincides with the 190th anniversary of the official birth of UVa.

According to UVa, the office will help strengthen the university’s academic programs, alumni engagement, internships and recruitment efforts.

A two-day celebratory event kicks off Friday, March 6 with a conference called “China’s Urbanization: The Next Challenge,” which will examine China’s architecture, business and growth and the challenges posed by a period of rapid urbanization.

On March 7, there will be an open house and dedication. UVa China Office Director Justin O’Jack will deliver a welcoming statement and unveil a model of the Rotunda.

The idea for an office in Shanghai stemmed from a delegation UVa President Teresa Sullivan led to China in the spring of 2012 to strengthen the university’s status as a top-tier global research institute. Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Jeffrey Legro visited Mainland China and Hong Kong the following winter to extend on UVa’s commit to expanding its academic partnerships in education.

“Our China office has contributed to many opportunities for our faculty and students,” Legro said in a statement. “We know that China’s rise begs our continued, deep engagement. It has implications for much of what we do as a University.”

Later this spring, UVa’s Darden School of Business will partner with Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management to host the Shanghai Investing Summit. On May 8, the summit will examine the latest trends in cross-border investing to develop effective investment strategies and opportunities for the future.

UVa isn’t the only school making moves abroad. George Mason University launched a new campus in Korea last year to enhance its global impact. This decision was advantageous for students who have the opportunity to spend two semesters on the main campus in the U.S.

Matthew Zingraff, president of George Mason Korea, explained in an interview with The Korea Times that “Mason Korea offers the attractive opportunity to study in two dynamic countries, Korea and the U.S., close to two major world capitals, Seoul and Washington, and to build networks of professional contacts and friends in both.”