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2 + 2 Programs Deepen Ties Between IUPUI and Sun Yat-sen University

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December 15, 2010

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IUPUI’s innovative and award-winning approach to international education has taken another step forward.

As part of its strategic alliance with Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) -- the most important university in southern China -- IUPUI is moving ahead with three new programs in which top students from SYSU will undertake collaborative ‘dual degree’ programs at IUPUI.

After studying for two years in China, IUPUI will become the home base for students’ junior and senior years. Students successfully completing their courses of study will receive degrees from both Sun Yat-sen University and Indiana University or Purdue University.

Within a few years, these “two plus two” programs are expected to attract over 50 students from SYSU in the fields of engineering, computer science, and informatics.

An additional three dual-degree programs are also in the pipeline and will attract even more students. The first of the SYSU students could begin their studies in Indianapolis as soon as early next year.

A top-ranked Chinese University, SYSU is located in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The South China region is one of the most significant drivers of the Chinese economy.

“We are very excited by this program and anticipate the interaction between the Sun Yat-Sen and IUPUI students will benefit both groups, opening young eyes and minds to new ideas and ways of learning,” said Bart Ng, Acting Dean of the School of Science.

Yaobin Chen, Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI also sees benefits for students at IUPUI.

“Our world renown Purdue engineering programs at IUPUI will attract top quality students from SYSU to the “2+2” and “2+3” programs in electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering and other engineering disciplines,” he said. “Our own engineering students will have the opportunity to work with students from China and other countries in such a multicultural environment without going abroad. This dual-degree program will provide our students with the learning experience which is critical to the success of our engineering graduates in the 21st century global economy.”

“The 2+2 programs will greatly enhance the cultural exchanges between the students and faculty of our universities. The relationship is truly two-way, as the School of Informatics is now launching a study-abroad program in China for IUPUI students,” said Edgar Huang, Associate Professor, School of Informatics.

IUPUI and SYSU signed a Memorandum of Strategic Alliance in December 2009, culminating a two-year exploration of the feasibility of establishing a campus-wide partnership between the two universities.
Strategic alliances are long-term, comprehensive collaborations between two universities that advance the internationalization of each institution while also providing vital linkages for the communities in which these institutions are located. They cut across disciplinary boundaries, harnessing the full capacity of each institution for work that is of significant mutual benefit.

In this case, the strategic alliance is providing IUPUI students, faculty and staff with a direct connection and deeper understanding of China. It also links IUPUI to the significant research that is being done at SYSU in science, technology and development and a whole range of other disciplines.

A campus goal is to make IUPUI students from Indiana and other locations around the U.S. feel at home with students from around the world, whether they travel abroad or not, said Susan Sutton, Associate Vice Chancellor of International Affairs at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and board member of the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis, which is the face of our partnership with SYSU on the IUPUI campus.

“The 2+2 programs will greatly enhance the cultural exchanges between the students and faculty of our universities. The relationship is truly two-way, as the School of Informatics is now launching a study-abroad program in China for IUPUI students,” said Edgar Huang, Associate Professor, School of Informatics.

IUPUI is pursuing an innovative approach to international education that already has garnered a top award. The Institute of International Education (IIE) honored IUPUI with the Andrew Heiskell Award for International Partnerships. The prestigious Heiskell Awards were established by IIE to recognize and promote outstanding international higher education initiatives among its member colleges and universities.