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Slippery Rock University expands reach to China

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Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7:03 p.m.

Slippery Rock University has established an exchange program with a China university, and SRU officials are submitting paperwork they hope will lead to similar partnerships with universities in Vietnam.

Slippery Rock spokesman Karl Schwab said last week the Butler County university enrolled 10 Chinese students this spring and expects to enroll another 10 to 20 when the Xi'an Fanyi University exchange begins.

During a ceremony Wednesday, Slippery Rock President Cheryl Norton and Shen Jiufu, president of Xi'an Fanyi University, inked an agreement for the program.

The schools will partner on a Master of Arts in English and in undergraduate degrees related to business and tourism, in which students would study in both countries.

Xi'an Fanyi, located in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, enrolls more than 40,000 students.

Slippery Rock has semester- or year-long exchange programs with other universities in China, India, South Korea, Hungary, England and Ireland, among others, but the new agreements are the first carrying specific degrees.

It's unclear how many Slippery Rock students will be studying in China.

Slippery Rock posted a 6-percent decline in enrollment last fall, when 8,350 students attended the university.

The agreement with the China school grew out of talks that began last fall when a delegation of Slippery Rock administrators traveled to China and Vietnam to explore Asian partnerships.

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