SIU Aviation Technologies Signs Agreement with Chinese University

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Aviation Technologies program and Shenyang Aerospace University (SAU) in China will begin an articulation agreement in fall 2018.

The 2+2 project, approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education, will likely bring 50 to 60 students to Carbondale beginning in 2020. The academic concentrations will be on avionics and maintenance with a goal to recruit 150 students. Students who stay in China will receive the Shenyang Aerospace University degree; those who come to SIU will receive a bachelor’s degree in aviation technologies with a specialization in avionics from SIU Carbondale.

Andy Wang, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, said. “Considering a growing student population from Saudi Arabia in our aviation programs, this new international development with SAU will dramatically increase the diversity of our aviation student body as well as help strengthen the quality of our aviation programs.”

Wang noted that the college sponsored Ping Liu, a visiting scholar, from SAU last year. Wang said that he expects more faculty exchanges and research collaboration between the two universities in the future.

SIU Carbondale entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Shenyang Aerospace University in 2013. Typically, about 40 percent of students enrolled in articulation programs between Chinese and American universities will take classes in the United States, Yi Lee, international partnership coordinator with SIU Carbondale’s Center for International Education, said.

While the program’s first class of freshmen will be on the China campus in 2018, recruitment efforts are beginning, Lee said. The university is working on course articulations so that college credits earned in China will transfer to SIU’s program. Lee added that Shenyang Aerospace University has also secured Chinese Ministry of Education Scholarships to send tuition paying non-degree seeking exchange students to SIU Carbondale in fall 2018.

As part of the agreement, SAU in the future will require SIU Carbondale aviation instructors to go to China and teach during the summer. The program will run for six years with the possibility to renew, as long as the program passes Chinese education ministry review during the midpoint of the agreement, Lee said.

The project is the same model used for two other programs now on campus, Lee said. About 30 accounting students started last year with another 40 students planned to be on campus next year, he said. Eleven students from Dalian Jiaotong University (DJTU) are now on campus in

SIU’s mechanical and civil engineering programs with another 15 students expected from DJTU this fall.

Michael Burgener, chair of SIU’s Department of Aviation Technologies, is excited about the agreement, which will build enrollment in the program. Enrollment is now at about 150 students, he said.

This agreement, along with one involving the avionics program with Saudi Arabian Airlines, could double the number of students in SIU’s program in a few years, Burgener said. About 10 students from Saudi Arabia who are now on campus and in the Center for English as a Second Language program will start work toward their avionics certificates in June, he said.