Cornell, China: long-distance partners

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Cornell University has agreed to assist the City University of Hong Kong in creating the first veterinary medicine academic program in the Chinese metropolis.

The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding in mid-April, according to a Cornell press release, to establish the terms of their collaboration. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has agreed to provide advice and guidance to City University in the planning, establishment, operation, and evaluation of the new school of veterinary medicine, with the goal of securing international accreditation in the future.

All courses will be in English. The plan is to start the first class of 30 students at the school in 2012 and increase the student class size to 50 by the time the first graduation takes place.

The school will offer a bachelor of veterinary medicine degree, granted by the City University. Students studying at City University may also have a chance to participate in specialty training at Cornell's veterinary college when possible.

"The international collaboration is motivated by a growing awareness of the need to develop strong programs in veterinary public health as a response to the increasing global threats of zoonotic diseases and of outbreaks of food and water-borne diseases," according to the release.

The school will be housed at new and renovated academic and small animal clinical facilities on the City University campus. The hope is to also use farm and large animal clinical facilities in the area.

The proposed project has already been endorsed by the City University Management Board and Faculty Senate.