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Prominent Public Affairs Schools in Asia and U.S. Join Forces

May 29, 2013

In a ceremony that brought together representatives from two of the world’s foremost universities, officials from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) agreed to a partnership with the University of Hong Kong (HKU)

The agreement establishes a graduate dual-degree Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) program between SPEA and HKU’s Master’s in Non-Profit Management program.

Executive Associate Dean David Reingold represented SPEA at the ceremony in Hong Kong and was joined by his counterpart, John P. Burns, Dean of HKU’s Faculty of Social Sciences. Additionally, IU President Michael M. McRobbie and Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret reaffirmed ties of friendship and collaboration with HKU Vice-Chancellor and President Lap-Chee Tsui. Also in attendance were HKU faculty members Danny Lam and Helen Liu, both Ph.D. graduates from SPEA.

“The dual degree represents a tremendous opportunity for students from all over the world to learn from some of the finest faculty in the world,” Reingold said. “SPEA has a long tradition of partnerships that foster international understanding and we’re honored and excited by this opportunity to join forces with a university as prestigious as HKU.”

Burns said the feeling is mutual: “HKU is very excited about this opportunity to partner with SPEA to provide our students with an amazing learning opportunity. Our students and the third sector in Asia more generally will benefit enormously from their exposure to SPEA's top-ranked program in non-profit management.”

HKU is the oldest institution of higher education in Hong Kong, founded in 1910. The research-intensive university ranks #35 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and consistently ranks among the best in China and East Asia. HKU also has a significant international student population, constituting approximately one-third of the total student body.

“China is one of the most dynamic countries in the world for the development of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector,” noted SPEA faculty member Leslie Lenkowsky who helped spearhead the partnership. “This program will give Chinese students the opportunity to learn from leading American experts on non-profit management – and American students the chance to study in China and see first-hand the exciting changes that are underway there.”

Added Dr. Kirsten Grønbjerg, SPEA Professor and Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at IU’s School of Philanthropy: “Hong Kong’s strategic location in the rapidly developing South East Asia region will provide American students with unique opportunities to explore how alternative governance structures may address complex social policy issues.”

The agreement with HKU comes less than two months after SPEA entered into a partnership with the International College of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) in Bangkok, Thailand. SPEA also has collaborative arrangements with institutions in Seoul, South Koreaand Hyderabad, India. Overseas study programs are now offered in many locations including Barcelona, Beijing, Croatia, London, Moscow, Oxford, Pamplona, Rwanda, Siberia, and Berlin and Speyer in Germany.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

SPEA was founded in 1972 and is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings and its program in nonprofit management is considered best in the nation. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are also ranked by the National Academy of Science as among the nation’s best.

About the University of Hong Kong

Established in 1911, the University of Hong Kong is the territory's oldest institute of higher learning. Over the past century, the University has committed itself to creating knowledge, providing education, and serving society. It has grown with Hong Kong and generations of its graduates have helped shape the city from which the university takes its name. Today, HKU is internationally recognized as a research-led comprehensive university, with frontier research endeavors and scholarly achievements that have won it worldwide acclaim.

Indiana University’s Office of Communications contributed to this article.