The University of Minnesota joined a research partnership with a Chinese university Monday.
The partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong was signed by University President Eric Kaler in Shenzhen, China as part of the College of Science and Engineering’s latest international agreement effort.
In the new partnership, students and faculty will be able to take classes, do research and participate in student exchanges. The partnership’s research will focus on a number of topics like renewable resources, clean water and equity in communities.
CSE has similar partnerships with 13 other Universities, in countries including Norway, Singapore and Australia.
The first group of students are expected to go to and come from China in fall 2018.
“The University would like to expand its footprint to include science and engineering,” said CSE Dean Samuel Mukasa.
While the program will span a variety of topics, he said mechanical and aerospace engineering will be a focus.
As part of the agreement CUHK will pay for post-doctoral researchers and faculty to work in China, said Mostafa Kaveh, CSE’s associate dean for research and planning.
Mukasa said the final financial details for the partnership haven’t been determined yet.
Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of international programs, said the funding will be structured in such a way that the University won’t lose money.
Chinese students coming to the University will pay out of state tuition under the deal, Kaveh said.
In the future, the program could expand to include undergraduate internships, he said.
“This is something that we hope we evolve once the program gets going in earnest,” Kaveh said.
McQuaid said she hopes partnerships like the one with CUHK give students a chance to get exposed to different backgrounds when they come from abroad, particularly for those who couldn’t otherwise study abroad.
People of diverse backgrounds working together on research usually have better outcomes, Mukasa said.
“We see a lot of merit in partnering with University like the one in Southern China,” he said.
Regent Darrin Rosha called the partnership a great opportunity for the University.
“The University’s role as an international institution is critically important to Minnesota,” he said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the nature of the University’s relationship to the Chinese university. Only the Chinese University of Hong Kong will fund its researchers in the U.S.