> SFU teams up with Australia to offer double degree

SFU teams up with Australia to offer double degree

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Jane Fee, FASS, 778.782.8467, jfee@sfu.ca
Carol Thorbes, 778.782.3035, cthorbes@sfu.ca

November 4, 2008
Beginning in 2009, Simon Fraser University and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia are teaming up to offer a new double undergraduate degree program that will complement Whistler as a B.C. attraction down under.

Traditionally, its proximity to Whistler has made SFU one of Canada’s top drawing universities in Australia. But the partnering of SFU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Monash’s Faculty of Arts to graduate students with two separate degrees from different countries promises to boost SFU’s appeal down under.

One degree will be a bachelor of arts in global studies from Monash that is similar to a BA offered by SFU’s School of International Studies. Through courses in history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics, it gives undergrads an interdisciplinary understanding of the origins of the contemporary world and the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.

Monash, one of Australia’s eight leading research universities, has more than 50,000 students from more than 130 countries. The university has eight campuses: six in Australia, one in Malaysia and one in South Africa, and a centre in Prato, Italy. Students in the new double degree program may study at any of Monash’s campuses.

The other component of the double degree will be an SFU BA that enables students to specialize in one of five areas. They are criminology, geography (environmental focus), international studies, world literature and general studies with a First Nations Studies minor.

This double degree program will be the first of its kind for SFU FASS; it is also the first double degree program between a Canadian university and Monash’s faculty of arts.

“B.C. and Australian students have a strong interest in exploring each other’s landscape and culture. This program will enable them to combine getting a degree with working and vacationing abroad,” observes FASS dean Lesley Cormack.

“We’re also getting a lot of interest from United World College students as they already have an appetite for international study. The ability to solve global challenges is dependent on our ability to graduate students who have a global understanding of the interrelationship between issues in different disciplines. This program enhances our ability to do that.”

Due to the complexities of graduating students with different degrees from different institutions, students starting this program at SFU will take five years to complete it. They will do two years at SFU, two at Monash and the final year at SFU. Students starting at Monash, where an undergraduate degree is completed typically in three years, will take four years to complete the two degrees — two at Monash and two at SFU.

“Effectively, all students, whether they are starting at Monash or SFU, will complete two degrees in one year more than it would take them to complete a single degree at their home country’s institution,” explains Cormack.

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