On 16 September the Wanxiang Group and the University of Illinois signed a memorandum of understanding in Hangzhou, China, to create the Wanxiang Fellows Program (WFP). In the new WFP, students from the University of Illinois System will spend their summers studying at Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic. There the students will study the Chinese language and clean energy. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner attended the signing ceremony in Hangzhou, along with members of his delegation and representatives from the Zhejiang Province government. Governor Rauner, who was on an international trade mission to China and Japan, planted a tree of friendship on the Wanxiang Polytechnic campus to commemorate the visit and send a message of good luck to the program.
Summer 2019 is the first year of the program. This year there are six UIS, six UIC, and eight UIUC students participating.
Because of existing connections with Ashikaga University UIS students will also be in Japan for one or two weeks.