YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University has finalized an agreement with a school in China to establish a joint college of engineering.

The agreement with Beibu Gulf University calls for a 15-year cooperative partnership that will begin with up to 300 students being enrolled in the new program annually for the first four years, Eastern Michigan said in a release.

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The joint college will start to enroll students for the fall 2021 semester.

Overall enrollment on the joint campus will eventually represent up to 1,200 students. Students would receive degrees from both Beibu Gulf University and Eastern Michigan.

Eastern Michigan’s main campus is in Ypsilanti, southwest of Detroit. The Beibu Gulf campus is in Qinzhou.

Work on the agreement started in 2018, said Mohamad Qatu, dean of Eastern Michigan’s College of Engineering and Technology.

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“The partnership will enhance our financial resources and advance the global presence, influence and reputation of the College of Engineering and Technology,” Qatu said.

Eastern Michigan faculty will travel to Beibu Gulf University to teach every year. Beibu Gulf faculty may travel to Eastern Michigan for visiting or professional development purposes.

For the first three years, Chinese students in the joint college will study full-time at Beibu Gulf. They then can choose to spend their fourth year in Ypsilanti.

“Agreements such as this broaden the university’s international footprint as well as establish mutual international understanding and cooperation with a key overseas partner,” Eastern Michigan President James Smith said. “The plans developed by the two universities offer excellent career preparation for students.”

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