NKU signs first dual degree agreement with Hansung University

For immediate release…
Thursday – March 6, 2014

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - In January, Hansung University President Shin-il Kang travelled halfway around the world to visit with Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns and sign a Dual Degree Agreement that was the first of its kind for either institution.

The agreement will allow Korean students majoring in management or marketing to start their coursework at their home institution in Seoul and complete it at NKU, at which time they will earn degrees from both universities. It expands an already strong partnership between the two organizations and could serve as a blueprint for similar agreements with other institutions around the world.

“This partnership is an important one,” said President Mearns. “Dual-degree agreements such as this one expand the opportunities for our students to study in foreign countries, and these agreements bring international students to our campus, thereby enriching the educational experience for all of our students.”

President Kang was accompanied by Dr. Jae-Whak Roh, dean of the Office of Planning and External Affairs at Hansung. Together they toured the NKU campus and met with current non-degree-seeking Hansung University students currently studying at Northern on an existing exchange program.

“The very fact that the president of Hansung University and the dean of external affairs traveled all this way to sign this agreement speaks volumes about the importance of it,” said Dr. François LeRoy, executive director of the NKU International Education Center. “This is not common. That is, usually when agreements are signed, it doesn’t involve one president traveling halfway around the world to sign it. We’ve grown to know each other to a level – some of us are on a first-name basis now. It is a friendship as well between the two schools.”

Through the Dual Degree program, NKU is expected to enroll about five Hansung students per year and cannot exceed 10. This is in addition to non-degree-seeking Hansung students, of which there are currently 17. Students in the new program must complete at least 50 hours at Hansung before coming to NKU.

“This is a new way of engaging our partner institutions beyond the standard student and faculty exchange,” said Dr. François LeRoy, executive director of the NKU International Education Center. “This implies a very high level of trust between the two institutions. This is a high-functioning partnership and it makes sense that we should be doing this with Hansung.”

Since the inauguration of the exchange program in 2007, 59 Hansung students have studied at NKU and 15 Northern students have participated in the Hansung University Summer Program. NKU also has a partnership with Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul.

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