HKUST signs deal with Einstein's alma mater

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 April, 2008, 12:00am

Students from the University of Science and Technology will have the chance to study at Albert Einstein's alma mater from the next school year.

The university this week signed a student-exchange agreement with Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, where the influential ethnic Jewish scientist studied physics in the 1890s. Under the agreement, students from the science and engineering schools will study at ETH Zurich for one semester while their Swiss counterparts will stay in the city the same duration.

The first batch of undergraduate students would leave in September, with collaboration expected to later extend to postgraduate levels.

The two universities would work out details, including the number of students to be exchanged, in the coming months, HKUST said.

Philip Chan, dean of engineering, said it wanted to add variety to the choice of institutions for students going on exchange.

'We have many top universities in the United States and the United Kingdom as our partners,' Professor Chan said. 'The agreement with the ETH was part of our plans to expand collaboration with top universities in continental Europe.'

He said HKUST was exploring student exchange agreements with universities in Spain and Finland. 'More exchange alliances are expected to be formed in the coming months.'

Angelika Wittek, head of ETH Zurich student exchange office, said collaboration with institutions in Asia had expanded significantly in recent years and would continue to.

'We believe that being exposed to a different culture by spending part of the studies abroad is an important part of a student's successful career,' Dr Wittek said. 'We therefore actively support student mobility by setting up exchange agreements with high-profile universities.'

The HKUST engineering and science schools together have student exchange agreements with over 60 universities around the world.