Groundbreaking Collaboration Between Arizona State University and Hainan University Earns Prestigious Recognition

In a momentous occasion for international academic partnerships, the synergy between Arizona State University (ASU) and Hainan University (HNU) located in the vibrant southern part of China, has been recognized for its exceptional contribution to the sphere of higher education. Their joint initiative, the Hainan University-Arizona State University International Tourism College (HAITC), has been awarded a significant accolade by the Chinese Ministry of Education, spotlighting the global quality of their educational programs.

The award was presented in recognition of HAITC’s pioneering efforts in offering degrees in tourism management, parks, recreation and sport management, and public service and public policy. This acknowledgment places HAITC on the prestigious list of Excellent Cases of Chinese-Foreign Cooperatively-Run Schools, distinguishing it among 20 international joint programs to have received this honor on the list’s inaugural release.

“This acknowledgment from the Chinese Ministry of Education underscores the unparalleled quality and innovation of our program,” stated Kelly Bricker, the dynamic director of HAITC and a professor in the School of Community Resources and Development in ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “It reflects our commitment to offering an academic environment of excellence, supported by our dedicated faculty and staff,” she added.

According to the Ministry of Education, this marks the first issue of the Excellent Cases designation, aiming to provide a comprehensive and objective overview for society on the quality and impact of Chinese-foreign cooperative education. “This initiative is designed to elevate Chinese-foreign cooperative education to new heights, adding a dynamic layer to China’s advanced-level education and its openness to global influences,” the Ministry stated.

HAITC, which was established in 2017, is noted for being the newest program among those recognized, attesting to its rapid development and high-quality program delivery. The recent accolade confirms HAITC’s role as a leader in international education delivered in partnership.

The celebration of this achievement coincides with the renewal of the joint administration of HAITC between ASU and HNU for an additional five-year term. This renewal is a pledge by both institutions to continue their elevation of academic programs and research development while maintaining their commitment to instructional and programmatic excellence.

In furtherance of their collaboration, ASU and HNU are also in the process of developing new academic initiatives. This includes a program from ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, with enrollment expected to commence in the fall of 2025.

This spring, HAITC celebrated a significant milestone by awarding master’s degrees to its first cohort. The ceremony, which honored 12 master’s graduates alongside bachelor’s degree recipients, was a testament to the enduring impact and success of the program. Looking ahead, HAITC anticipates the enrollment of 30 new master’s degree students this fall, with the majority of its bachelor’s degree recipients pursuing graduate studies.

“The success of our program and our students is genuinely a product of our exceptional faculty and staff’s commitment to delivering a quality education,” Bricker noted. “This collaboration between ASU and HNU exemplifies how patience, innovation, and dedication can create enriching educational experiences that resonate globally.”

The achievements and further ambitions of HAITC underscore the power of international partnerships in creating high-quality educational opportunities that cross borders and cultures, paving the way for a more interconnected and learned global community.

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