Agricultural Higher Education Partnership with Nanjing University in China

Michigan State University (MSU) has a lengthy and valued partnership with Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) through leadership by the Office of China Programs, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the College of Social Science. Born out of this history of collaboration, the Asia Hub Network (a consortium of 14 universities across Asia and led by NAU and MSU) prioritizes research on the nexus of water, energy and food, and creates opportunities for a variety of disciplinary and global perspectives to intermingle. The NAU-MSU research relationship is a true partnership with a mission of co-generation of knowledge.

The Asia Hub Network also features an educational component that is equally innovative and authentic. With approval from the Ministry of Education in China, the MSU-NAU partnership established a Joint Institute in 2019 and will begin offering dual degree programs to students. These programs are led by faculty from MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), and through their work, the Institute will pilot two bachelor of science degree programs, in food science and biosystems engineering. The dual degree programs expand the ongoing Asia Hub initiative by increasing opportunities for research and building educational pathways for the next generation of global citizens. Future plans include master's and doctoral programs which will further enhance MSU's global engagement efforts.

Prior to the pandemic, CANR faculty and leadership regularly visited NAU and received visits from NAU faculty and leadership as well. The partnership has led to dozens of publications, the establishment of the Asia Hub office at NAU, many visiting scholars from NAU to MSU, conferences, the establishment of the Joint Institute, and many other opportunities for MSU. Most recently, NAU became home to several MSU undergraduate students on the study abroad program in Chian who could not return to East Lansing due to the pandemic.

For more information on CANR Partnerships with Nanjing University, please contact Kelly Millenbah at and/or Jennifer Wargo at