Oklahoma State University extends agreement with Southwest Jiaotong University in China
Monday, May 24, 2021
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On May 20th, Oklahoma State University and Southwest Jiaotong University, one of China’s premier engineering universities, extended a collaborative agreement which governs a joint degree program in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology.
Leaders and faculty representatives of both institutions connected virtually to sign the program extension while celebrating the graduation of the first cohort of students from this program.
In 2017, OSU President Burns Hargis, along with Dean Paul Tikalsky and Director Vivian Wang, travelled to Chengdu to initiate the joint degree program, the first and only Sino-US joint program focusing on fire safety engineering. Since 2017, over 200 students have enrolled in the program to access world-class educational opportunities.
Upon successful completion of the program (three years in China and one year in the US), students receive degrees from both OSU and SWJTU. This summer, the second cohort of 52 students will start online courses and hope to travel to Stillwater sometime soon when the conditions allow. Over nine faculty members from OSU have traveled to teach in Chengdu in the past three years.
During the virtual ceremony, Hargis and SWJTU President Yang Dan both applauded the great efforts by the joint program team on offering online courses and ensuring the first cohort's ability to complete the program during the global pandemic. The ceremony also served as a virtual special graduation ceremony for the first cohort of the joint degree students.
Tikalsky proudly announced the graduates’ names during the virtual ceremony and congratulated their accomplishments. Tikalsky stated that “OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology program in Fire Protection is the premier program in the world. Our Partnership with SWJTU reinforces that standing by bringing the highest standards of industrial fire protection engineering technologies to China. These OSU global graduates have already secured jobs across Asia to improve the lives of people around the world.”
In addition, the two universities expect that the partnership will also enhance OSU's study abroad offerings, as OSU students will have the opportunity to study with OSU faculty, using the OSU curriculum, while immersed in the Chinese cultural setting. This program will support OSU's overall global strategy by both increasing study abroad opportunities for students and enhancing OSU's global reputation.
“China will continue to grow as an economic and political power, and it is essential that OSU students have opportunities to understand that growth and the opportunities that it presents,” said Randy Kluver, OSU's associate provost and dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships.
SWJTU, founded in 1896, is one of the oldest engineering focused universities in China and is often referred as “the cradle of railroad engineers in China,” given its strong reputation in transportation technologies.
SWJTU has over 45,000 students enrolled among three campuses in Sichuan Province. Its main campus is located in the city of Chengdu, where the OSU-SWJTU joint program is housed. Over the years, this partnership has expanded its initial student mobility program to joint degree program, faculty exchange and student affairs administrators’ training programs.
Other participants in the ceremony included Wang, Professor Randy Seitsinger, Dr. Virginia Charter and faculty representatives of the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program at OSU.