Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Siyuan University, located in Xi’an, China, gathered at UMPI on Aug. 12 for the formal signing of a collaborative agreement between the two institutions to establish a transnational college in China.
The University has maintained a formal relationship with Siyuan since 2009, with Siyuan students traveling to UMPI to complete their education in the U.S. All Siyuan students who have taken advantage of this opportunity have successfully earned degrees from UMPI. The new agreement, initially proposed by Siyuan University, involves the creation of a joint Chinese-American college that would offer degrees in Business, Education, and Environmental Studies. Students will receive UMPI’s new international tuition rate for the courses they take and graduates from this college will receive degrees from both UMPI and Siyuan.
“We are so pleased to be partnering with Siyuan University on this exciting venture,” UMPI President Linda Schott said. “This agreement is one of the results of our visit to Beijing and Xi’an in May and really strengthens our collaborative efforts with Siyuan University in particular to provide educational opportunities to students in China. We hope to welcome more Siyuan students to UMPI and look forward to the success of our joint college with Siyuan.”
Mr. Yanbo Zhou, Chairman of the Siyuan University Board and President of the Bohua Group that oversees the University, and Mr. Weiqiang Wu, Vice President of the Bohua Group, represented Siyuan during the signing of the agreement. UMPI hosted Zhou and Wu during their visit to the U.S. in August. The establishment of the joint college is expected to occur by Fall 2015 and Siyuan University anticipates a maximum enrollment of 960 students. Siyuan University currently serves about 18,000 students.
“We have worked together with UMPI for several years and are pleased to move our cooperation to a new level,” Zhou said. “Because of this joint college, there will be a way for more students in China to learn about American education from U.S. professors and there will be a beneficial exchange between the faculties of our universities. Once our students get to know these professors from the U.S., more will be willing to go to the U.S. and UMPI for education.”
All instruction within the newly established college—to be located on the Siyuan University campus—will be conducted in English, and UMPI’s curriculum and teaching materials will be used for the majority of the instruction. All students who participate in this opportunity will take at least 30 credit hours directly from UMPI, which can be completed in residence at UMPI, in China, or online.
Siyuan University will recruit and enroll students for this college as well as provide the day-to-day management. Because the college will be located in China, Siyuan will provide the housing and food to enrolled students. Siyuan will also provide the facilities needed for instruction delivered in China and work with the Chinese government on permits needed. UMPI will send one representative to Siyuan once a year to participate in recruitment activities. UMPI will also oversee the selection of instructors for the joint college and provide professional development to them.