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China Partnership Opens Path For Students

November 01, 2020 - 2 minute read

Damian with ZFC staff

Concordia University Irvine has launched a dual associate of arts in business administration: accounting program in conjunction with Zhejiang Financial College (ZFC) in Hangzhou, China, starting this fall. The program already numbers 75 students.

“This aligns with our mission by offering a new professional studies program in an international setting,” says George Wright, Dean of the School of Business and Economics. “It also aligns with the religious aspect of our mission by exposing communities with minimal experience of Christianity to our Lutheran ethos, which values serving our neighbors, near and far.”

Students in the dual degree program will complete two-and-a-half years of coursework in the accounting program at ZFC in Hangzhou. During that time, they will take courses taught by ZFC faculty, as well as courses in accounting, business and general education taught in English by CUI faculty in China. Students who complete the program successfully will receive two associate of arts degrees, one from ZFC and one from Concordia University Irvine. They will also be eligible to transfer to Concordia University Irvine where they may complete a bachelor of arts degree in business administration: accounting after a year and a half of additional study.

“The Chinese higher education system is at capacity in education and want to build capacity,” says Peter Senkbeil, vice president and special assistant to the president. “We share a desire for an educated workforce.”

Concordia University Irvine already welcomes around 120 international students a year, typically from 40 different countries and every continent.

“This has always been part of the DNA of our institution,” Senkbeil says. “Part of CUI’s founding mission is to be a Lutheran institution facing Asia, as founding president Charles Manske said many times.”

ZFC is a public institution granting associates degrees and certificates in areas related to banking and finance. It has around 11,000 students and is a high-ranking vocational college in China. Wright says the relationship with ZFC could lead to faculty exchanges, joint research and the establishment of a collaborative, formal “joint institute” on the ZFC campus.

“This is valuable in attracting students, faculty and donors while preparing graduates to be fully capable in functioning in an international business environment,” he says. 

Concordia University Irvine is looking at launching an international business partnership, and a third program in marketing as well.

“We hope it creates momentum toward international study, exchanges and presentations,” Wright says.

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