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American university opens branch in Hainan

By Ma Zhiping and Liu Xiaoli in Haikou | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-09-26 15:54

Hainan University and Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College, which is affiliated with Hainan University, opened its first-ever session in Haikou, capital of China's southern Hainan province, on Monday.

HAITC is an international and innovative joint college established by Hainan University and American top-ranking public research institution, Arizona State University, the first of its kind in China.

Li Jianbao, president of Hainan University,said that HAITC is the first domestic Sino-foreign cooperative tourist institution formally approved by the Ministry of Education in May 2017.

A total of 268 students majoring in hotel management, human geography and urban/rural planning and administrative management attended the opening ceremony.

With the professional courses taught in English, students will get double degrees, one from Hainan University and another from Arizona State University, if they successfully graduate from the college.

That means that the students can enjoy American top university teaching resources without going abroad, said Wang Lin, head of the new college.

About one-third of the college's teachers are from Arizona State University and one-third from global recruitment, with others from Hainan University, according to Wang.

The students also will have access to the quality teaching, research resources and electronic library resources with ASU, she added.

"Through this partnership, we leverage our two institutions' expertise, resources and passion for community development and public service," Jonathan GS Koppell, dean of ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions, said.

The college is aiming to cultivate management personnel with a global vision and international competitiveness of tourism.

Tuition is about 60,000 yuan for each semester, which is much less than that in ASU's US headquarters, while excellent students have the same access to various scholarships.

"This new college is an incredibly exciting and innovative initiative," Koppell said when addressing the opening ceremony on Monday.

"Even the teaching building of HAITC is the same as in Arizona State University in order to enhance students sense of belonging," he said.

The college, with a transitional campus at Hainan University, will relocate to its permanent campus, which is under construction in Mission Hill in Haikou. It is expected to be completed in 2019.

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