Cornell's partnership in Hong Kong delayed this year

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Apr 01, 2012

ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell's plans to partner with City University of Hong Kong on the first veterinary medicine academic program in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) will not move forward this year, as previously announced.

Cornell spokesperson Stephanie Specchio says when the school announced the partnership in 2010, the 2012 starting date was merely an estimated goal. The partnership, which calls for a six-year program with an initial class of roughly 30, is still expected to move forward, she says, with 2014 serving as the new goal start date. Still, she cautions, that date is also an estimate.

"It's going to happen," Specchio says. "Things are moving; they are just fluid."

If plans don't move forward by 2014, Specchio says Cornell leaders will regroup and revise plans as needed.

The degree program offered by the partnership would be dubbed a Bachelor's of Veterinary Medicine, which is equivalent to a DVM degree in the country. In Hong Kong, doctorates are reserved for physicians, said Dr. Alfonso Torres, Cornell's associate dean for public policy and coordinator for the Hong Kong partnership.

The idea for the two schools to collaborate was spurred by City University, which sought partners in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to help with the program's startup. In the end, the university decided to approach Cornell with a partnership proposal.

Cornell's role will be to assist City University with developing a curriculum and determining faculty needs. Cornell may also provide external examinations of the program and some limited specialty course instruction, according to Torres.