By Elaine Smith
Organizers of one of the Faculty of Science’s best kept secrets, the 2+2/2+3 Undergraduate International Collaboration Education Programs, anticipate exponential growth, thanks to recent agreements signed with five international partners.
The 2+2/2+3 program is an initiative that allows students from participating universities to spend their first two years of post-secondary education at their home university and the last two or three years of their degree program at York University. Once they complete their degree requirements, they graduate from York with a BA or a BSc degree.
“The program allows students from abroad to internationalize their degrees in a more affordable way, since they only spend two or three years studying in Canada, rather than their entire undergraduate career,” said Hugo Chen, director of international collaborations and partnerships for the Faculty of Science. “While they are here, they have more career development options and job opportunities and have North American work experience to put on their resumes.”
The 2+2/2+3 program began on a small scale about 18 months ago, but new partnerships and a recruitment effort are expected to yield larger numbers during the coming years. There is market demand across North America for such programs, called transactional education, said Chen, a type of program that is found at numerous institutions, but is more common in business schools than in science. The Faculty of Science identified a demand and acted upon it. Within the past year, they have negotiated the five agreements with international partners, with more likely to follow.
“We receive requests from partner institutions who see the potential benefit from their students,” said Chen. “They also want to partner with well-known institutions.”
Current partners are:
- Central University of Finance and Economics, School of Insurance (China);
- Nantong University (China);
- Shandong University (China);
- Sunway University (Malaysia); and
- Xi’an Jiaotong University Suzhou Academy (China).
Incoming students who are accepted by York are eligible for programs in actuarial science, biomedical science, applied mathematics and statistics. Up to two years’ worth of credits are eligible for transfer. They pay tuition to York for only the two or three years of study here, making it more economical for them than spending four or five years as an international student, while still providing them the same credential.
Xinyu Wang took part in the program after completing two years at Shandong University. He currently works as a sales analyst for Huawei in Shenzhen, China.
“I chose York because of its location in Toronto – a large, modern city – and the University has lots of well-known professors to learn from and many Chinese students,” said Wang. “I knew York was good in math and I wanted to get a different view of the world, too.”
He discovered that York University offered him not only theory, but hands-on skills, such as programming. Wang also worked part time and obtained international experience to add to his resume. He also found himself interested in education and remained in Toronto to pursue a master’s degree.
“Studying in another country can change your life,” said Wang. “You meet professors and make friends. It’s not only studying, but student life and work experience. There are lots of choices of things in which you can participate. I have lots of good memories.”
Chen anticipates that more than 100 new students from these partnerships will join York’s Faculty of Science in the Fall 2023 term. As they prepare for life at York, they have access to the services available to all international students.
“Internationalization is part of the Faculty of Science’s strategic plan, as well as York University’s Academic Plan,” he said, “and this begins a new chapter.”