University of Northern Iowa and China’s Shanghai University of Engineering and Science (SUES) are partnering to create a 2+2-degree program, allowing students to gain two years of educational experience in both China and the United States.
The partnership marks University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business Administration’s (UNIBusiness) second 2+2 agreement with a Chinese university. In 2006, the college partnered with Shanghai DianJi University (SDJU) on a similar program.
“Internationalizing our student population through our 2+2 agreements allows our Iowa students to experience a culturally diverse environment in advance of graduation and full-time employment,” said UNIBusiness Dean Leslie Wilson. “It prepares them to work with colleagues or customers from around the world.”
The 2+2 process is simple. Students spend their first two years of education at their home university, then finish the final two years at the partnering institution. This gives students an opportunity to gain international experience at a smaller price. By completing the first two years of their degree at home, participants cut the cost of an overseas education in half.
The partnership also benefits the college’s faculty and staff. Every year, at least eight UNIBusiness faculty members travel to SDJU, gaining tremendous international experience in a vibrant global hub. Through these international partnerships, several UNI students also travel to China every year outside of the 2+2 programs.
Global opportunities are a point of pride for UNIBusiness. One in three students gain an international experience while studying at the college through study abroad programs, specialized degree agreements or internships. Students can also obtain a master’s degree in business administration through UNIBusiness’ international MBA programs in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The importance of having a globally aware workforce is especially important in Iowa, a state that exports more than $1 billion in goods including industrial machinery, motor vehicles and parts, meat and cereals.
“For the economy of Iowa to be successful, to maintain and increase its exports, it must be globally competitive,” Wilson said. “That requires a workforce that can manage successfully in culturally diverse work environments and understand the international consumer.”
For more information on UNIBusiness and its many international programs, visit business.uni.edu.