Pitt announces joint engineering program with China's Sichuan University

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The University of Pittsburgh and Sichuan University in China have agreed to start a joint engineering program aimed at both undergraduate education and collaborative research.

The first class of about 100 students will be in fall 2014 in a program that will be called The Sichuan University Pittsburgh Institute, it was announced today.

It is expected to grow to 1,600 students.

Students will attend classes in China for the first two years and may transfer to Pitt's Oakland campus in the third year.

Pitt joins four other American universities that have large partnerships with a Chinese university, including Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University, New York University and the University of Michigan.

Sichuan University will spend about $40 million on a 100,000-square foot building for the institute.

"This extraordinary partnership marks a milestone in the history of the University of Pittsburgh, expanding the University's influence as a force for educational and research innovation while allowing Pitt to benefit from an alliance with Sichuan University, one of China's preeminent institutions of higher education," Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said in a press release.

In the press release, Pitt's provost and senior vice chancellor, Patricia Beeson, said: "Because the universities are well matched in their overall academic strength and global commitments, the impact of this new partnership will extend beyond the field of engineering and beyond the U.S. and China, making it global in scope and presenting exciting possibilities for the future."

The institute will offer degrees in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering.

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Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.


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