The University of Missouri–St. Louis hopes to create opportunities for students in Eastern and Central Europe thanks to a new partnership with Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University in Bucharest, Romania.
A significant step toward that future occurred on Nov. 7 when UMSL Interim Chancellor and Provost Kristin Sobolik and DCCU’s Founder and President Corina Adriana Dumitrescu and Professor and Rector Cristiana Cristureanu signed a memorandum of understanding establishing academic cooperation between the two universities, the first such endeavor for UMSL in Romania.
The MoU established several possible areas of cooperation including exchanges for students and faculty, joint research and publications, joint-venture academic programs, dual degree programming and more. One unique possibility presented in the agreement is offering UMSL degrees on-site.
If the on-site degrees are established, UMSL will offer them in areas that DCCU is not already covering, such as supply chain management, criminal justice, computer science or cybersecurity. With Brexit closing off English-language education opportunities in the United Kingdom, attending American universities’ satellite locations is becoming an increasingly appealing option for local and international students interested in obtaining U.S. bachelor’s degrees in English.
“The goal for this new endeavor in partnership with DCCU is to ultimately tap into an international student market that we don’t really have access to at this point,” UMSL Senior International Officer and UMSL Global Executive Director George T. Sipos said. “I think this is a tremendous opportunity, and now is the right time for UMSL to pursue such a project. I’m excited about the possibilities ahead of us.”
Founded in 1990, the Dimitrie Cantemir Independent University has grown to 17 locations all over Romania, the largest of them in the capital city of Bucharest. Professor Ramona Mihaila, DCCU vice-rector for international affairs, and Sipos worked in conjunction with the two universities’ leadership teams to establish ties between the institutions.
Sipos and Sobolik traveled to Bucharest to sign the MoU, tour the DCCU campus, meet their counterparts in Bucharest and talk about UMSL and its plans for the future. During the visit, DCCU also conferred an honorary doctorate on Sobolik.
“It was fantastic visiting Romania and exploring potential partnerships,” she said. “The people are warm, friendly and excited to collaborate.”