AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University recently announced a partnership expansion with Zhoukou Normal University in Henan Province, China, that will create a cooperative Network Engineering major in addition to the Human Resource Management and Marketing programs already established. The new program, managed jointly by the two universities, will bring 100 Chinese computer science students to study at GSW each year.

The program will begin enrolling students in fall 2019 to study their first three years at ZKNU. In their fourth year, eligible students can enroll at Georgia Southwestern to complete the program in the United States. These students will receive a bachelor of science degree in computer science from GSW upon their graduation. The first cohort of students is expected on campus in fall 2022 with a new class following them each subsequent year.

“GSW is proud to expand on our partnership with Zhoukou Normal University which has proven mutually beneficial,” GSW President Neal Weaver said. “We can expect to see an increase in enrollment and revenue over the next few years. This partnership will also provide the unique opportunity for our faculty to teach overseas, and it will broaden the cultural diversity on our campus.”

GSW will send faculty to teach computer science and other courses in China each year. Overall, the courses taught by GSW faculty in China will account for more than one-third of the courses in the program major.

In June 2018, a GSW delegation consisting of Neal, Kristi Weaver and Lynda Lee Purvis, former interim vice president for academic affairs, visited ZKNU in Henan to discuss the program and view teaching facilities.

In April 2019, a ZKNU delegation of two key administrators and their translator visited Americus to meet with GSW administration, academic deans and faculty, and to tour the campus and the area. The purpose of the visit was to assess the physical environment and quality of instruction the ZKNU students will experience.

“The delegation left impressed with GSW and the Americus community and with strong support for the cooperative program,” said Purvis. “GSW has had an ongoing friendship with Zhoukou Normal University for over 10 years. It is very exciting that the relationship of the two universities has now been formalized in this new agreement.”

This partnership is the second with a Henan-based university. The Henan Education Association for International Exchange brings university students from Henan to GSW for one semester to study English and enroll in GSW courses if eligible. In fact, GSW has agreements with more than 50 international schools for both undergraduate and graduate study, including universities in China, India, Nepal and South Korea.

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