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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    International Partnership Broadens SB’s Boarders

    Stony Brook University will play host to a partnership between the State University of New York and Nanjing University in China involving a dual diploma program with two years of study at Stony Brook and two years of study at Nanjing University.

    “Having a dual-diploma program in China represents a fantastic opportunity for

    SUNY and NJU students and faculty,” said SUNY Chancellor John Ryan in an official press release by the SUNY system.

    Incoming students at Nanjing University will be given the opportunity to study for two years at Nanjing University and two years here at Stony Brook.

    Students at SBU are able to participate in study abroad programs at Nanjing University as well. Stony Brook will also coordinate a study abroad program that all students in the SUNY system will be able to utilize.

    The program, which will award students with either a bachelor of science in biology or a bachelor of engineering in engineering science, was announced last spring and was scheduled to commence in August.

    But interest and awareness about the program remains very low. Out of 30 students questioned about the program, only three had heard of its existence. Even staff in the international studies office were unsure of the program’s status.

    A second concern is the lack of preparation by the administration for even more students onto the Stony Brook campus.

    Peter Gergen, a biochemistry professor working mostly in the graduate school, was one professor who did know of the program but remained skeptical of the format of the new program. “We do not need more biology students here. Our seats are filled to capacity as is,” he noted. Gergen was unsure of how Stony Brook intended to meet the needs of new students.

    “We haven’t been told to make accommodations yet for these students,” Gergen added.

    Nonetheless, signatories from both SUNY and Nanjing University have a positive outlook for the program.

    Nanjing University Chancellor Hong Yinxing said trough press release that the new program “provides a solid foundation for collaborative research and other forms of mutually beneficial academic cooperation.”

    Chancellor Ryan echoed Yinxing’s sentiment. “The SUNY-NJU agreement will also further strengthen cultural and economic relationships between SUNY and NJU,” he said last March.

    The program has gotten off to a good start, according to a Nanjing University official through email. “Nanjing is admitting students in China, and they do the first two years here. Stony Brook won’t see any [students] for at least two years”

    President Shirley Strum Kenny attributes the creation of the unique partnership to a growing need for students to “think globally.” Kenny added that the “partnership between Stony Brook and Nanjing University will prepare students from both campuses for tomorrow’s world.”

    Just two weeks ago President Kenny unveiled a draft of the new five year plan, in which it clearly states Stony Brook’s desire to expand its reach both nationally and internationally.

    It is no surprise that this partnership will significantly help to “expand the footprint” of “Stony Brook on the international landscape,” said Kenny.

    According to the office of John R. Ryan, the chancellor of the SUNY system, there are now more than 30 international partnerships between SUNY and universities in Turkey, Russia, Mexico Poland and China.

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