PRINCESS ANNE, Md.--The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a medical university in Taiwan have an agreement in place that both anticipate will lead to academic exchange opportunities for students in their respective institutions.
A delegation from UMES’ School of Pharmacy and Health Professions met recently with counterparts from Chung Shan Medical University to begin laying the groundwork for Chinese students to earn a doctorate of pharmacy degree in Princess Anne.
Dr. Rondall E. Allen, UMES’ pharmacy school dean, also envisions American students having the option of fulfilling required field work by completing rotations in Taiwan to satisfy off-campus clinical experience requirements.
“We’re thrilled about the possibilities that establishing this relationship with Chung Shan university will have,” Allen said. “We believe it will put UMES in a position of having an impact and presence in health education internationally.”
Chung Shan Medical University in Tai Chung city has 13 “sister school” relationships with American institutions, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Louis University, Temple and the University of Maryland’s nursing school.
“We talk all the time about how we are preparing our students for the global marketplace,” UMES President Juliette B. Bell said. “This is an exciting example of putting that into practice.”
Allen said he’s hopeful of working out details of the exchange agreement over the next year so that a handful of Chinese students who want to pursue pharmacy as a career can enroll at UMES in the fall of 2018.
UMES’ offers a doctorate in pharmacy through year-round instruction that puts students in position to earn a degree in three years. Roughly 60 students enroll in the UMES graduate program annually.
The agreement with Chung Shan would enable a select group of Chinese undergraduates with at least two years of study to enroll in UMES’ pharmacy program. Commonly called the “2+3” model, UMES will consider rising juniors with first-rate academic credentials that project them as capable graduate school candidates.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the School of Pharmacy to develop a 2+3 program for our students,” said Dr. Kan-Jen Tsai, a professor and dean of Chung Shan Medical University’s international affairs office.
Dr. Victor Hsia, a native of Taiwan and chairman of UMES’ pharmaceutical sciences department, initiated the contact with counterparts at Chung Shan with whom he has had a professional relationship.
“This is all due to Victor,” Allen said. “He came to us with the idea of taking what we do here “international’ and it’s just grown from there.”
The proposed exchange agreement is initially for four years.
Logistics that still need to be worked out include admissions criteria, housing and transportation arrangements as well as tuition and fees. Allen also said UMES and counterparts at Chung Shan would be working to ensure Chinese students are sufficiently bilingual to succeed in classes taught in English.
The possibility also exists that students in other UMES’ School of Pharmacy and Health Professions departments – physical therapy and rehabilitation services – also might be able to travel to Taiwan for internships and related studies to fulfill degree requirements.
“This agreement has a lot of possibilities,” Allen said, “so there are still a lot of details to be worked out.”