U expands health, other programs in Asia

The University met with Hong Kong officials to open a “franchise” of the ISP-Asia program, among other deals.

Than Tibbetts

University officials are looking to make major strides in offering education opportunities at institutions in Asia.

During their trip to China this month, several University officials, including University President Bob Bruininks, inaugurated several programs and worked to expand the University’s presence overseas.

Some of these programs are in the area of public health, an area looked upon with great interest in China and India, said John Finnegan, dean of the University’s School of Public Health.

While Bruininks was leading Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s education delegation, Finnegan spent nearly two weeks traveling in China, India and the Philippines.

Finnegan met with University officials in Hong Kong to open a “franchise” of its ISP-Asia program.

The program offers an executive certificate in health care administration.

Health care administration is becoming increasingly important in the two most populous countries.

Hong Yang, director of the University’s China Center, said Asia has approximately 90,000 hospitals, with about two-thirds of those in China.

Finnegan said China and India are interested because they are facing many of the same problems in administering health care to the public.

“They’re trying to figure out better ways of organizing and delivering health care as well,” he said.

The University’s relationship with China dates to World War I. Bruininks said the University has graduated more than 8,000 people from China since then, more graduates than any other university in the United States.

Finnegan added that working with other countries helps the University achieve a global presence ” an important part of the University reaching its goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world.

Aside from public health education, Bruininks said, the University is about to offer a joint law degree in Beijing.

The University already offers an executive master of business administration in Guangzhou in southern China, which was rated among the best business degree programs in China last year by Chinese business publications, Bruininks said.

During the delegations’ trips, Guangzhou also became home to the University’s sixth Alumni Association Chapter in mainland China. A seventh chapter is in Taiwan.

Regent David Metzen said global awareness is something everyone should have. If he had his way, he said, everyone would visit another country at least once to see what is going on in the world.

Finnegan said all these developments are indicative of a new kind of trade mission, one in which the emphasis no longer is on trade alone.

“This is now not just about goods and services, but also about intellectual growth and ideas,” he said.