Nine students who began their college education in Asia will finish their degrees here in Utah this year. The University of Utah’s Asia campus works with the South Korean government to bring students to Utah. It also helps students from Utah learn outside the U.S.
Jean Oh, main campus director for University of Utah Asia operations said that beyond just the benefits the partnership has for the University, there are benefits to the students as well.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to have a global experience," Oh said. "And for this generation of students, the more global networks that they have, opportunities they will have for internships, for career opportunities and for expanding their potential marketability upon graduation.”
Planning is underway for four new degrees beginning in Spring 2017.
When the University of Utah began programs in South Korea two years ago, only 13 students were enrolled. Now, the University of Utah Asia campus has over 200 students studying either communication, psychology, social work or public health.
Oh said the program is a way for the university to extend and expand its global footprint.
“This is the first time that any institution in Utah has done something like this and it’s fairly unique," Oh said.
The Asia campus has both students from Utah and students from South Korea along with other Asian countries. It was built by the South Korean government and houses three other universities—Belgium’s Ghent University, George Mason University and the State University of New York, Stony Brook.
“The Korean Government is looking to expand into other counties," Oh said. "They’ve entertained the idea of recruiting institutions from Russia, from other European nations, and more from the U.S. and potentially even from Canada. But right now, the focus is on establishing and helping the four institutions that are there currently to succeed.”
Oh said the education offered in Asia is identical academically to the education offered at the University of Utah located in Salt Lake. It’s just a little smaller.