Visits with Chinese academic leaders lay foundation for future partnership.

Beginning a year ago, a number of visits between officials of Qingdao University, a major Chinese institution, and the Alvah H. Chapman Graduate School of Business began to establish the framework for a possible Dual Degree partnership.

The Dual Degree program, which currently has 21 institutional partners, provides a way for students to earn an MBA from their “home” institutions and a Master of International Business (MIB) from Chapman. They also can remain in the United States for an additional year to work under the Optional Practical Training program.

Zhaoxun Jing, vice president, Qingdao University, and Chapman School
Associate Dean Tomislav Mandakovic sign the minutes of their February meeting,
bringing a partnership one step closer.

In April, 2005, five representatives from the university, including Florida International University’s Acting Provost Ronald Berkman and Peng Lu, the Chapman School’s coordinator for Chinese programs and the university’s director of China projects, made the initial trip to Qingdao, Miami’s sister city in China. Qingdao University’s population includes 34,000 students and 2,000 faculty and staff members. A month later, Chapman Dean José de le Torre and Lu traveled to Qingdao for further meetings.

“Qingdao ranks in the top seventy universities in China,” Lu said. “It also is a high-tech city with many important companies—both Chinese and international—located there.”

Representatives from the college with representatives from Qingdao University
at the signing ceremony in China.

With a visit to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus in February, 2006, by three officials from Qingdao University, the possibility of the Dual Degree partnership grew closer to fruition. The guests were Zhaoxun Jing, vice president; Yanshuo Tang, dean of the College for International Studies; and Baolin Yu, deputy director general of International Affairs. On the college’s side, Tomislav Mandakovic, associate dean of the Chapman School; Anna Pietraszek, newly-appointed director of Chapman Admissions; Paola Moreno, program manager of the International MBA (IMBA), Master of International Business (MIB) and Advanced Diploma in Business Administration (ADBA) programs, and Lu attended.

A number of very specific details were worked out at the meetings that took place in Florida, including the requirements the students in Qingdao University’s master’s degree in management program will need to meet to be admitted to the MIB program in the Chapman School.

Representatives from Qingdao University with representatives from the Chapman School
at their meeting on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

The sessions at Modesto A. Maidique Campus were followed in March, 2006 by a visit to Qingdao by Mandakovic, Lu, and Pietraszek, at which time the discussions continued.

“We coupled an MIB student international trip with this meeting,” Pietraszek said. “It was an ideal opportunity for us to move the process along. We signed the minutes from our February meeting, and that will be the basis for our agreement, which we expect to sign soon.” [See related story below.]

The college already has a signed agreement with the Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC), which has enrolled 300 students—considered to be Florida International University students—in the School of Hospitality Management.

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