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UC’s Top-Ranked Co-op Model, Engineering Programs to be Offered in China

A partnership between UC and Chongqing University in China will lead to the adoption of UC’s mandatory co-op model in that country. In addition, UC’s engineering curricula will be offered at Chongqing.

Date: 7/8/2013 9:30:00 AM
By: Greg Hand
Phone: (513) 556-1822
Photos By: Dottie Stover, Jay Yocis

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati’s globally renowned cooperative education program will soon have a new home base in China – at Chongqing University, one of that nation’s largest, leading institutions and home to a premier engineering college.

An agreement signed July 8 as a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established a Joint Co-op Institute between the two universities. The agreement calls for UC to provide experience and expertise in establishing a mandatory co-op program at Chongqing as part of two engineering majors while also establishing UC’s curriculum and offering UC faculty instruction in those two majors – mechanical engineering and electrical engineering – at Chongqing.
President Ono speaking
UC President Santa Ono welcomes the delegation of Chinese visitors as Chongqing University Vice President Dan Yang listens.

Initially, the agreement will affect only students enrolling in the two programs at Chongqing; however, it is hoped that the partnership will also provide future experiential learning opportunities to current UC students for study abroad and international co-op in China.

Signatories include UC President Santa J. Ono; Teik C. Lim, interim dean of UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS); and Dan Yang, vice president, Chongqing University.

This agreement is the first to establish a Joint Co-op Institute between universities in the United States and China. With it, Chongqing University will become the first in China with a mandatory cooperative education model – a model ideally suited to Greater Chongqing’s role as a major educational and economic center in southwest China.
Ivory Tower and the Smokestack
The book on the history of co-op at UC is being translated into Chinese as part of the Joint Co-op Institute partnership.

Cooperative education or co-op is the practice wherein students alternate semesters of study with semesters of professionally paid work directly related to their majors. UC is the global founder of co-op, having established the world’s first co-op program in 1906 and today houses the largest mandatory co-op program in the United States. UC’s co-op is ranked in the nation’s top ten by U.S. News & World Report.

“I anticipate that the Joint Co-op Institute will have a tremendous impact not only on Chongqing University, but also on the city of Chongqing and higher education throughout China. In turn, it will bring immense benefit to the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati region by providing even greater opportunities for our students and global engagement,” said UC President Santa J. Ono.

According to Teik C. Lim, interim dean of UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, “This milestone agreement serves as another indication recognizing UC’s global reputation in terms of experiential learning and co-op. We’re again making our mark on higher education on an international level, this time in partnership with a prestigious institution in China and with a focus on engineering education.”

Up to 100 Chinese students (50 in mechanical engineering and 50 in electrical engineering) are expected to enroll in these programs this fall via the Joint Co-op Institute. Within five years (co-op programs typically run a five-year course), total enrollment is projected to grow to about 500 students (250 in each program).
  • In the first four years, these students will receive engineering instruction in English, based on UC’s mechanical or electrical engineering programs and led by UC engineering faculty based short- or long-term in China and with support from Chongqing faculty. Most of the courses will be taught on-site, with some delivery of instruction via technology.
  • In their fifth and final year, the Chinese students enrolled in the Joint Co-op Institute will take all their courses on UC’s campus.
  • Following the UC co-op model, these students will begin co-opping with employers in China in fall 2014 or spring 2015. They will integrate five semesters of paid, co-op work experience into their education degrees.
Upon completing the required coursework and co-ops via the UC-Chongqing Joint Co-op Institute, the participating students will graduate with baccalaureate engineering degrees from both UC and Chongqing University.

All costs associated with joint institute are covered by Chongqing University, while the tuition revenue generated by the agreement will bring UC about $10 million annually.
  • Learn more about Chongqing University, a national, comprehensive institution, located in a major cultural, educational and economic municipality that serves as a center of industry and commerce in southwest China.