University News

WIU Professor Translates University Website into Chinese for Recruitment Efforts

March 6, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University Broadcasting and Journalism professor has created a Chinese language website for the University in an effort to attract international students to Macomb.

Associate Professor Yong Tang said the website was completed about one year ago. It features a wide array of multimedia content including text, still images, photo galleries, audio slideshows and video footage. It contains information about the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism and about a variety of aspects of the University. The video program, Macomb Face-to-Face, reflects why Chinese students choose WIU and aspects of their life on campus.

"I teach in China in the summers and I show this website to the students there," said Tang, who had worked in Washington, DC as a correspondent for a major Chinese newspaper before moving into higher education. "They are highly impressed."

Tang said when he conducted research for the Chinese site, he was amazed by the number of outstanding WIU alumni in every imaginable career field.

"For example, four Pulitzer Prizes and five Emmy Awards are associated with WIU, an accomplishment that may well overshadow many bigger and more prestigious journalism schools in the country," he said.

These findings made Tang more eager to tell the WIU story to people in his home country.

Tang, who interviewed most Ivy League presidents during his newspaper career, said many people in China have just a superficial understanding of American higher education.

"The bigger, the better - this is what they believe," Tang said, adding that he wants to use the site to change the misconception. "Actually, smaller teaching colleges like Western have strengths that bigger and research-intensive institutions do not have. At Western, you get quality education at an absolutely affordable price."

When talking about international recruitment efforts of American universities, Tang said not too many American colleges and universities have Chinese websites and he is glad WIU has supported his initiative.

"This is a good marketing tool for recruiting students to Western," said Tang, who is working closely with University administrators on signing memorandums of understanding and 2+2 agreements with Chinese universities. "It helps to present WIU in their native language."

The Chinese site outlines degree offerings, curriculum, student media outlets, faculty accomplishments, opportunities for student awards, scholarships and internships, as well as stories about department alumni.

"If you look at our website, you will find that every professor in the department gets a Chinese name," said Tang, who keeps a tradition of creating an elegant Chinese name for each American student since Fall 2011, when he began teaching at Western.

Tang said College of Fine Arts and Communication Instructional Technology Systems Manager Khaing Saw made huge contributions to the project, spending hours helping to create the website and updating its content.

Tang said he would like to eventually expand the service to turn the University's entire website into Chinese.

"It's not word-by-word translation," he said. "It is more about doing research, looking for department and University highlights and presenting an American university to a Chinese audience in an interactive and engaging way. It's a very ambitious plan. We hope, with more support, that we could make it more interactive and more visually appealing. We also hope to produce more video segments to bring Macomb Face-to-Face to a Chinese audience."
Numerous University faculty, staff, students and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association contributed to the content and technology needed to launch the site.

The website can be viewed at

Posted By: WIU News (
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