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Tuesday, February 8, 2005

UNCP joins Sino-American education consortium

Several years of work on international relations is paying off for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

UNCP has joined a coalition of five U.S. and 32 Chinese universities to offer a joint-degree program for Chinese students. The coalition is led by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Chinese Center for International Exchanges (CEAIE).

The University may enroll 20-30 Chinese students, who would spend their first year at a Chinese university, the next two at UNCP and return to China for their final year. The students would receive Bachelor of Science degrees and most would major in business.

Alex ChenUNCP, the University of Northern Arizona and George Mason University joined forces with existing partners, Troy State University and Ball State University. For UNCP, the program was two years in the making, said Dr. Alex Chen, associate vice chancellor for International Programs.

“It started with a visit, led by Dr. Roger Brown (Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) to China three years ago,” Dr. Chen said. “Last year we wrote a proposal to the AASCU, and because we developed several strong model programs, we were invited to join the project.”

With help from UNCP’s Chinese friends, the University was accepted to the consortium and the wheels were set in motion.

A large delegation - consisting of university presidents and top administrators from 32 Chinese universities coordinated by the Chinese Center for International Exchanges - will be on campus February 24-25.

The delegation will tour the University and meet with representatives from several UNCP offices, including Admissions, Registrar, Student Affairs and the School of Business. They will also sign formal agreements with UNCP Chancellor Allen C. Meadors.

“We are going into this very carefully,” Dr. Chen said. “But this holds the potential to be very big.”

UNCP has more than 50 international students currently, so this program would be make a significant impact on campus.

The first UNCP graduates from the Chinese University of Mining and Technology received diplomas in December 2004. They graduated from UNCP’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

Three additional agreements with Harbin Normal University were signed in May 2004 to offer the MPA program, a Master of Arts in English education and a Bachelor of Arts in English education. These agreements are expected to bring 1-15 students to UNCP in the fall semester 2005.

“Harbin is our sister university in China,” Dr. Chen said. “The English education program will bring students here for two of their four years.”

The Office for International Programs may be contacted at 910.522.4095 or alex.chen@uncp.edu.

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