SFU News: Dual Degree program earns “outstanding” praise

July 03, 2012
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A dual degree program offered by Simon Fraser University’s School of Computing Science in partnership with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, has won a province-wide award for being an outstanding program in international education.

The BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) presented SFU’s School of Computing Science with the prestigious award on June 26 during its annual awards program. The award recognizes high quality and creative programming in international education.

“When we launched this program in 2005, it was one of Canada’s first dual degree programs offered for undergraduate students studying computing science,” says Martin Ester, Director, School of Computing Science.

“We found a strong collaborator with Zhejiang University, one of China’s top three universities, and we’ve seen this program flourish to provide a two-way exchange of top students and researchers between B.C. and China.”

The SFU-Zhejiang University (ZJU) undergraduate Dual Degree Program (DDP) in Computing Science is designed for Canadian and Chinese students to study together as a cohort for two years at ZJU and two years at SFU.

Students receive a degree in computing science from each of the universities and attain a high degree of understanding of the languages, cultures, societies and academic institutions in both China and Canada.

The program is designed to also include faculty exchanges (one SFU faculty member teaching at ZJU and one ZJU faculty member teaching at SFU each term), and student mentorship to encourage a cultural exchange with peers.

“In this way, the DDP is a venue for both students and faculty to experience an extensive, significant and meaningful intercultural learning opportunity,” says Ester.

The undergraduate program was so well-subscribed by students, that Computing Science established a graduate dual degree program (GDDP) with ZJU in 2011. The GDDP provides the opportunities for both Canadian and Chinese students to study and conduct research at SFU and ZJU. Students receive a MSc or a PhD degree from each of the universities.

The role of BCCIE is to advance international education in the province through consultation and liaison with government, and through marketing support for those involved in international education.

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.

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Story credit/ SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations