The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents voted to allow President James Smith to finalize documents for a new Joint College of Engineering. The partnership would exist between EMU and China's Beibu Gulf University in the Guagxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.
"We've worked very hard and on a very tight timeline with a lot of legal assistance to put this together in ways we are really comfortable with," said Smith.
The programs expects to enroll up to 300 students during each of its first four years, reaching an overall enrollment of 1,200 students at the end of year four. Students can receive degrees from both Beibu Gulf University and EMU.
"We will have faculty that will fly over and fly back like we do at Tianjin University for our Masters of Human Resources and Organizational Development," Smith said. "But we will also have one or two resident faculty there."
The cooperative partnership will last 15-years and include programs in mechanical engineering, vehicle engineering, mechanical design and manufacturing and automation, construction project costs and internet of things engineering. Students will be allowed to earn a degree from either, or both, of the universities.
Smith hopes to launch the program in nine months and have details finalized in January or February of 2020.
"We're still doing curriculum work," Smith said. "Provost [Rhonda] Longworth and [EMU College of Engineering and Technology] Dean Mohamad Qatu have really led that way."
Smith has worked with the university for the past two years to create a proposal. The next step is for the Chinese Ministry of Education to approve the proposal.
Beibu Gulf University is located across the golf from Vietnam.