The University of Central Florida and the Chinese government are discussing a partnership overseas — and possibly a UCF campus in the southern province of Hainan.

Chinese officials have expressed interest in establishing a program similar to UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management to help foster growth in the tourism and hospitality industries of Hainan Island.

 
Chinese officials approached UCF for advice about training professionals in those fields, said Michael Weiss, a Rosen College spokesman. It’s not yet known whether UCF would open a campus to serve Chinese students or if UCF simply will assist the Chinese government with the development of its own program.

Weiss said a small group of UCF representatives has been in China this week discussing options.

"No decisions will be made on this trip," he said. "We’ll have more information after the dean of Rosen comes back March 1."

It’s not unusual for Florida public universities to establish campuses or programs in other countries.

Florida State University has permanent study centers in England, Italy and Spain and a campus in Panama. The University of Florida maintains a small office in Beijing.

If UCF opens a campus in China, it would be the university’s first international campus. UCF, however, does already partner with other institutions to offer study-abroad programs in numerous other countries, including Australia, Honduras and Sweden.

Rosen College students can spend a spring semester in China through a partnership with Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Rosen College also has been offering its expertise to the South African city of Mbombela. It recently agreed to help with the planning of a convention center and tourist attraction there. 
 

 
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