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Going Global?

In South Korea this week, a new bridge opened, connecting the Incheon International Airport with Songdo City, where NC State could become part of a planned global university campus.

In Raleigh this week, faculty members can learn more about an ongoing feasibility study for the proposed NC State campus in South Korea, ask questions and give their input.

Susan Herrera, director of global education centers for the Office of International Affairs, will discuss the proposed partnership from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday in the D.H. Hill Library Erdahl-Cloyd Auditorium. David McNeill, coordinator of the Global Training Initiative, will also speak.

The university is at the midpoint of a yearlong, $1 million study funded by the South Korean government.

“This project has to be financially feasible,” Herrera says. “No North Carolina dollars can go into this project. It has to be self-sustaining.”

NC State and Stony Brook University in New York received planning grants. Other universities are exploring relationships with South Korea as well, including Delaware, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Southern California and Surrey, England.

The bridge that opened this week lops a half-hour off the trip from Songdo City to the Incheon airport. About two billion people live within a three-and-a-half hour flight. “It’s becoming a hub of international business and a gateway to Asia,” Herrera says.

The South Korean government and the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) are investing more than $10 million annually over the next five years to develop the Global University Campus in Songdo City. They are also investing in research centers. Campus land and facilities will be offered rent free, although partner universities would pay for maintenance and utilities from tuition and fees collected.

If feasible, a partnership would allow NC State faculty to teach and do research at the Asia campus and create international opportunities for students.

Herrera foresees faculty opportunities for both short- and long-term assignments. The commitments could range from hybrid courses requiring as little as four weeks per semester on site, supplemented with Internet-based distance learning, to longer-term opportunities for research and teaching.

NC State’s possible undergraduate offerings include business administration with concentrations in entrepreneurship and supply chain management, fashion and textile management with concentrations in textile brand management and marketing, biological sciences, international studies with a concentration in American studies, and computer science.

Master’s programs are being explored in industrial design, landscape architecture, graphic design, biology, biomathematics, global innovation management, supply chain management, electrical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, environmental assessment and textiles.

In addition, foundation and outreach programs could be offered, such as intensive English classes, continuing education, industrial extension, the Global Training Initiative and the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center programs.

Herrera has spoken with faculty individually and in departmental meetings to answer questions and provide information on the Korea campus feasibility study. “I’m available to meet with departments or individual faculty who would like to know more,” she says.