Zhejiang Normal University
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Dual-degree Collaboration

Zhejiang Normal University can collaborate with a foreign higher education institution on dual-degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dual-degree programs are different from joint degree programs in that the students in a dual-degree get a degree certificate from ZJNU and another one from the foreign university, rather than a single degree jointly conferred by both institutions.

3+1 Undergraduate Dual-degrees (Government Approval Needed)

The 3+1 dual-degree model means that students spend three years at ZJNU and then one year at the foreign university. On completion of the program, students get an undergraduate degree from ZJNU and an undergraduate degree from the foreign university. Both degrees need to reflect the program curriculum, and be associated with the two universities’ existing degree nomenclature.

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The benefit of the 3+1 dual-degree program for the foreign university is that it creates a relatively large cohort of students for universities who have the resources to deal with large intakes, thus increasing tuition income. For those universities who want to have an international presence, this also virtually creates a branch campus in China. 

The 3+1 dual-degree undergraduate program is part of the national college entrance exam and given an admission quota of typically 60 to 100 students per year per program. As the program curriculum is created by both ZJNU and the foreign university, it is usually more competitive in the job market and students are required to pay higher tuition than those in regular ZJNU undergraduate programs. 
For the fourth year of study, the foreign university usually charges ZJNU students international tuition rates with a discount. The foreign university also shares the revenue of the students’ first three years of study at ZJNU. However, in the first three years at ZJNU, the foreign university needs to offer instruction for one-third of the core courses, one-third of all instruction hours, and account for one-third of the total number of faculty members. These are requirements stipulated by the central Ministry of Education.
For most academic disciplines, a dual-degree requires 160 credit hours (one credit hour is 40 minutes of instruction per week for 16 weeks). As one-third of the courses need to be taught by the foreign institution on site in Jinhua, the challenge for most foreign universities is to get their faculty members to come over and stay for one semester. Our two existing programs (Software Engineering with the University of Worcester in the UK and Advertising with Edith Cowan University in Australia) have proven that it is not only viable, but sustainable.
To effect a 3+1 dual-degree program, ZJNU needs to sign a general MOU with the foreign university, and a dual-degree program implementation agreement needs to be drafted by both universities and submitted to the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Education for approval. The implementation agreement needs to include the rationale of the program, a detailed curriculum plan complete with instructors and textbooks, and course load, as well as financial responsibilities and rights for each institution. Once approved, the program is entered into the central Ministry of Education’s registry of Sino-foreign dual-degree programs. Enrollment can only begin after the approval and registration. 


Program vs. Institutional Collaboration in 3+1 Programs

ZJNU and the foreign university can collaborate on a program level or on an institutional level. Program-level collaboration means ZJNU and the foreign university only have one dual-degree program. If one program becomes successful and both universities wish to collaborate on a larger scale, more programs can be started. If more than three programs in related disciplines have commenced, a separate, non-legal-person independent college can be set up to host the programs. The two universities will then be in an institutional-level collaboration model, which gives more autonomy and flexibility in the operations of the programs. Administration and staff of the independent college will consist of both ZJNU and foreign university faculty.

1+1 or 2+1 Graduate Dual-degrees (Government Approval Needed)

 The 1+1 model is for students in ZJNU’s professional master’s degree programs. Professional master’s degree programs are new non-academic, skill-oriented graduate programs that feature a two-year program (rather than the standard three years). 

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Students in a 1+1 collaborative dual-degree program study for one year at ZJNU’s professional master’s program and one year at the foreign university’s graduate program, with the credits taken at each institution transferred to the other, and get a degree from each institution.

The 2+1 model is the same in nature as 1+1, but catered to three-year academic graduate programs. 
The 1+1 and 2+1 graduate dual-degree models both need provincial Department of Education approval as well as central Ministry of Education registration.

3+1+1 Undergraduate and Graduate Dual-degrees (No Government Approval Needed)

The 3+1+1 undergraduate and graduate dual-degree model allows students to study for the first three years at ZJNU, get the majority of their undergraduate credits done, and then study at the foreign university for one year. The credits earned during this fourth year can be transferred back to ZJNU to fulfill their undergraduate degree requirements. 

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While at the foreign university, the students can start taking graduate-level courses if they meet the foreign university’s graduate admission requirements for language competency and academic standing. Thus, after the 3+1 period, the students receive an undergraduate degree from ZJNU, and after the fifth year, they receive a graduate degree from the foreign university, providing they are able to complete all the degree requirements within that time. 

This model is basically a mutual credit recognition system and only requires an MOU of collaboration between ZJNU and the foreign university. It does not require the approval of the provincial Department of Education or registration with the central Ministry of Education.

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