|BGSU & UT join in new flight consortium|
|Written by DAVID DUPONT/Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Monday, 31 March 2014 15:09|
Bowling Green State University will bring its air power and University of Toledo will bring its ties to China and the result will be a new collaboration between the schools often seen as rivals.
The two university presidents were on hand at the Wood County Airport Monday to announce the formation of the Northwest Ohio Aviation Education Consortium.
While on the athletic fields the two schools may battle, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said that when it comes to academics the institutions have a history of cooperating.
This will be another example.
Mazey said the consortium will drive on UT’s ties to China and BGSU’s well-established aviation program.
Under the arrangement students from Northwestern Polytechnical University, Shenzen Campus, will study through the University of Toledo, one year in China, the second in Toledo, before coming to the BGSU aviation program to complete their degrees.
The program expects about 100, or even more Chinese students, to enroll. The program is not limited to NPU students.
The program opens up the possibilities for expansion in other parts of Asia as well as domestic students.
Frizado said that the Chinese university has already begun recruiting students with the first starting this fall.
The first Chinese students would be expected at BGSU in fall, 2016, said Venu Dasigi, interim dean for the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering.
That would give BGSU two years to make sure they have the facilities and equipment, including planes, to serve a larger student population.
Currently the Aviation Studies program has about 120 students enrolled.
The new collaboration dovetails with the partnership with North Star Aviation, which is running the flight training portion of the program as Bowling Green Flight Center.
UT President Lloyd Jacobs said that the new collaboration was another instance of “market-driven curriculum.” More and more, he said, colleges are having to respond to “societal needs.”
That includes a growing need for pilots, which is even greater in China as the government loosens controls of commercial aviation.
State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) said he got involved in helping to bring the two universities together.
UT, he said, had made a proposal to the state Board of Regents to start its own aviation program to train the Chinese students.
When it looked unlikely that the regents would approve the plan, he helped arrange the partnership.
Frizado said that the consortium could to include Toledo Public Schools, which has an aviation maintenance program, and Owens Community College.
Mazey noted BGSU has the distinction, according to North Star Aviation president Mark Smith, of being one of only two university aviation programs that have airports as part of their campuses.
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