DENTON (UNT), Texas – Texas history was made this month when UNT Provost Finley Graves traveled to China to bestow degrees on four students. The four graduated with two degrees from two universities in two countries at the same time – one from the University of North Texas and the other from a participating university in China. The students – Qi Liu, Jiajun Teng, Chen Peng and Binghuan Zhang – are part of the Student Transfer Program at UNT. Last year, the program had its first graduate who was here in the United States.
"Our goal is to place UNT at the forefront of international higher education," said Aleka Myre, director of UNT's Sponsored Students and Special Programs Center. "Its programs such as the China transfer program bringing UNT diverse, competitive international students that place us closer to our goal."
Of the four graduates, two will continue their education by pursuing their Master's degree and two have been hired on with major corporations in China.
The Student Transfer Program is an international collaboration between UNT and the China Center for International Educational Exchange. Students first attend one year of school at a participating college in China, then they come to UNT to take all of the classes required for their degree plan here. Finally, they return to China to finish all of the requirements for their degrees there. It's the only program of its kind in the state of Texas.
"We are so proud of this program and of the new UNT graduates," said program advisor Jiaying "Cathy" Hu. "They were able to complete two full degree plans in two different countries. They faced all the difficulties everyone faces in colleges, as well as language barriers and cultural differences, but they tackled every challenge and in return got an amazing experience and education."
The program falls under the Sponsored Student Programs within UNT International. Students have the choice of 21 undergraduate majors.