Coming in from the cold

US-China Academic Relations after COVID-19


  • Joshua S. McKeown


international education, international exchange, research collaboration, higher education, China, US-China relations, study abroad, education policy


Academic relationships between Chinese and foreign higher education institutions have flourished for a generation, building upon intermittent outward-looking strategies since the late 19th century. International academic collaborations are an established practice for American institutions. Despite the urgency of the COVID-19 global pandemic, those with China are being challenged on national security grounds as the preferred method for state-directed acquisition of sophisticated science and technology, and other concerns. For US institutions founded on traditions of academic freedom, shared governance, and reciprocity, to be accused of negligence and naivete while China engages in such violations is a devastating affront both to the purpose of the university as known in the West and to the reputations and self-worth of many who work in them. More crucial than ever, USChina academic collaborations are facing heightened restrictions. Solutions to reforge and redefine this complex but enduring academic relationship in the post-COVID-19 era are discussed.

How to cite:

McKeown, J. S. (2022). Coming in from the cold: US-China academic relations after COVID-19. In J. S. McKeown, K. Bista, & R. Y. Chan (Eds.), Global higher education during COVID-19: Policy, society, and technology (pp. 57-70). STAR Scholars.


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Author Biography

Joshua S. McKeown

Joshua S. McKeown, Ph.D., is an Associate Provost for International Education & Programs at SUNY Oswego and International Education Leadership Fellow at the University at Albany (SUNY). Under his leadership SUNY Oswego has earned national and international awards for international education from the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU), the Institute of International Education (IIE), Diversity Abroad, the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE), and achieved multiple top rankings in the annual Open Doors survey for education abroad enrollment and for student Fulbright awards. McKeown is a scholarpractitioner who authored The First Time Effect: The Impact of Study Abroad on College Student Intellectual Development (SUNY Press 2009), several book chapters including in Education Abroad: Bridging Scholarship and Practice (Routledge, 2020) and NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad (NAFSA, 2014), numerous articles including in the Journal of Contemporary China, and has spoken and presented worldwide. E-mail:




How to Cite

McKeown, J. S. . (2021). Coming in from the cold : US-China Academic Relations after COVID-19. STAR Scholar Books, 57–70. Retrieved from



COVID-19 and Global Higher Education (Completed)

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