College of business collaborating with universities in China


Courtesy photo: ISU News Service

Danny Johnson, associate dean for undergraduate programs for the College of Business.

Ben Theobald

Iowa State is making closer connections with China.

The College of Business is in the process of working out an arrangement that will allow students from China to come to Iowa State to finish their college education.

“The Chinese students will take their first two years of coursework there,” said Danny Johnson, associate dean for the College of Business. “Then they will come here and finish out the last two years in the College of Business at Iowa State. They will graduate with a degree from Iowa State.”

Johnson said, “There is also a plan where students may do one year at their home university and then transfer here at Iowa State to do the remaining three years.”

“The proposal was first discussed between [Southwestern University of Finance and Economics] and Iowa State last spring of 2010,” said Lee Van Brocklin, academic adviser for the undergraduate program of the College of Business.

As of now, the only university in China the College of Business is developing this relationship with is Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China.

“There are some other universities trying to develop those relationships with us as well, but we haven’t firmed up who those are yet,” Johnson said. “We’ve made some contacts, but we haven’t made progress with those contacts yet.”

The requirements that the students must meet are the same as every other transfer student.

“We treat them very similar to every transfer that would come in,” Johnson said. “The only difference would be is that if they are coming from a university outside the United States, they need to come in and pass the English proficiency exam that tells them what English course they’re going to be placed in.

“They have to take English 150, and if the placement test doesn’t place them in 150, they have to take some additional language courses before they can take that class,” Johnson said.

The students also have to meet all other entrance requirements such as those in math and statistics like any other student.

“Generally most of the international students have those requirements,” Johnson said. “But we do check to make sure those requirements have been satisfied so that they meet the same entrance requirements to our college.

“When we structure these programs, we have to look at what courses they take over there and whether they will transfer into Iowa State to fulfill requirements here, and that is very specific to the university and the types of coursework they have had.”

The collaboration with Southwestern University of Finance and Economics brings in international students to increase the diversity in the student body and influence learning about different cultures.

“We are very much in a global society and to the extent we can have a diverse student body where Iowa State students from Iowa or elsewhere in the US can interact with students from other countries they get exposure to different cultures and ideas,” Johnson said. “It helps enhance the quality of their business education.”

“In my opinion, this is a great opportunity to have students from a prestigious university in China on our campus,” Brocklin said. “All international students attending Iowa State enrich our own students’ experience in and out of the classroom.

A number of universities in China are very interested in collaborating with U.S. universities to tap into the educational experience they can get here.

“They are trying to get some of the same things out of it,” Johnson said. “They want their students to get an experience in a United States university.”

The collaboration will also give business students an idea of what to expect in terms of competition in their field.

“There are a lot of United States firms doing business in China,” Johnson said. “Our students can interact with students from China and understand their culture. The more they do this, the better off all of our students are, which makes them more able to compete in that global marketplace.”

The administration of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics will be nominating students sometime in the spring.

“If everything would go right, the first students from this program would start here in the college next fall,” Johnson said.

At this point of time, the interest from these schools is primarily to have their students come to Iowa State to finish their college education.