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Partnerships Bring International Students to Campus

Programs Offer New Options for Global Learning

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Suresh Mathur,  chief operating officer of Auro University in India, and students from the school visited campus and met with Manning School of Business Dean Kathy Carter and Provost Ahmed Abdelal.

By Jill Gambon

A growing number of international students are making UMass Lowell their destination, thanks to programs that make it easier to transfer here from their home universities.

The University has forged agreements with partner universities in China and India that pave the way for students to start their college careers in their home countries and then come here to finish their bachelor’s degree or to earn master’s degrees.

To date, six such partnerships have been signed with universities in China that make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree from their home university and a master’s degree from UMass Lowell, after studying in China for three years and here for two. The University also has transfer agreements with institutions in India, including SR International Institute of Technology (SRIIT) in Hyderabad and Auro University in Surat.

In a sign of growing interest in UMass Lowell from abroad, a group of 18 students from Auro University visited campus for two days in June to meet with faculty and administrators and learn about academics and student life. They sampled dorm living at the Inn and Conference Center, toured the new Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center and got a taste of local ice cream and bumper boat rides on visit to Kimball Farm in Westford. The students’ stop in Lowell was part of a multiple city, 22-day tour of the United States.

“Their goal was to get to know the American education system and how our teaching works,” says Prof. Luvai Motiwalla of the Operations and Information Systems department, who helped coordinate the visit. “The students experienced a good mix of academics and fun.”

UMass Lowell has worked with Auro University to shape a program under which business students study for two years in India and then transfer to UMass Lowell to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Manning School of Business. Some of the students who visited campuses were also exploring the possibility of coming here for graduate school. Interest in earning a degree from U.S. institution is strong as students want exposure to U.S. business practices, Motiwalla says.

Motiwalla expects some Auro University students will be applying for admission to UMass Lowell this year. Collaboration on research projects among faculty members at both universities is also expected.

To date, three students from Xi’an Jaiotong Univeristy are enrolled at UMass Lowell, according to Prof. Jie Wang, chairman of the Department of Computer Science and director of China partnerships. There is a class of 22 students in Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) who are planning to transfer here. They started at BUPT in 2012 and are scheduled to enroll at UMass Lowell in 2015, Wang says.

In recent years, UMass Lowell has taken several steps to increase its global footprint, by building partnerships with colleges and universities overseas and expanding study abroad and international internship opportunities.