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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Law heads to china, offers dual degree program

Darien Bakas
A view of the James E Rogers College of Law, located on the corner of Speedway Blvd and Mountain Ave, on Feb 15. The college recently partnered with Ocean University in China for a dual degree program.

The UA’s James E. Rogers College of Law has launched its first dual-degree program in China. Ocean University of China in Qingdao, China, has collaborated with the UA to give students the opportunity to receive their Bachelor of Arts in law from the UA and their LL.B from OUC in China — LL.B degrees are commonly received outside the U.S.

The program began at the end of August with the start of the Fall 2015 semester. Seventy-seven students participated in the program that’s classes are taught in person with professors from the UA.

Students at OUC are expected to complete the requirements needed to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Arizona while completing their LL.B. All law classes offered by the UA will be taught in English, while the other required classes will be taught in Chinese.

“Most of the classes are being taught by Ocean University professors besides the law classes,” Brent While, associate dean of programs and global initiatives, said. “Think about it like this: students study [at] another university for two years and then they transfer to the UA with a lot of transfer credits.”

In their third year of college, students from OUC will be required to take English 107 and 108 — two semesters of English geared toward international students taught by UA professors. They will also be required to take a math class in Chinese.

“It works through a transfer articulation agreement which says that we will agree to transfer units taken from OUC to count as a degree from the UA,” White said. “To get a UA degree with a minimum of 30 units, the courses have to be taught by UA professors.”

The undergraduate China dual degree will be a four-year program with tuition at $8,000 per year; however, if students from OUC decide to take classes at the UA instead of through the dual program, they will be required to pay the full out-of-state tuition.

David Gantz, professor of law, said the dual degree in China is a groundbreaking program for Arizona law, as well as for OUC and a way for the law school to educate many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Chinese law students about the American legal system and to confer on the UA degrees.

Gantz said many of the faculty have already expressed an interest in teaching at OUC as soon as later this year. He said he expects a large number will do so over the next few years.

“It is a unique opportunity for any faculty member interested in learning more about China and the Chinese legal system,” Gantz said. “I also anticipate that there will be many opportunities for reciprocal student visits as well. I’ve thought about going to teach in China — maybe next year for either a month or two.”

White said there will be a minimum of 200 students in the program within the next couple of years, with a minimum of 15 students per class to a maximum of 100 students per class. White said there is a national exam that students have to test into with a high enough score to be admitted into the dual-degree program.

“Ocean University is one of the top universities in China; it’s an extremely difficult school to get in to, highly competitive,” White said.

White said this will improve the UA’s relationship with China because many people can’t afford to come to the U.S.

“This program will train Chinese students in U.S. law, which is useful for a lot of reasons, including a greater understanding between China and the U.S. — a better understanding of trade between the two countries,” he said. “The students will kind of be like a bridge between China and the U.S.”

Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.

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