An Ohio State engineering student could find him or herself studying in Australia next spring, partly on CampusParc’s dime.
QIC Global Infrastructure through CampusParc is funding scholarships for student exchanges between OSU and the University of Queensland in Australia, according to a press release from OSU. QIC is the parent company of CampusParc, which manages OSU’s parking garages, ground lots and permit sales.
The $150,000 scholarship fund is in response to CampusParc’s 50-year, $483 million agreement with OSU, said David Teed, CEO of CampusParc.
“We want the university to be successful, and we want to play a role in their success,” Teed said.
Teed said CampusParc won’t have a part in giving out the scholarships – that responsibility will fall to OSU.
CampusParc began managing OSU’s parking facilities in September 2012, and William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at OSU, said the $150,000 CampusParc is giving is separate from the amount received as part of the contract.
Teed said CampusParc has also committed $100,000 toward parking surface materials research, which is separate from the scholarship fund.
Brustein said OSU is set to receive the $150,000 in funding over five years to cover a $15,000 scholarship for one undergraduate OSU student and one University of Queensland student each year for the next five years. The two students would be exchanged and after a semester, would take part in an internship at a QIC company, external organization or their host university.
The scholarship is intended to cover the students’ expenses while abroad, not their tuition, Brustein said.
OSU’s tuition for international students is $13,363 per semester for the 2013-14 academic year, while University of Queensland’s is set to be equivalent to about $11,907 U.S. dollars per semester in 2015.
Brustein also said engineering students are slated be the first to be exchanged in spring 2015.
Because CampusParc is interested in experimental parking surface materials, such as solar-powered pavement that melts snow, and Brustein said he and Queensland representatives looked into their respective engineering departments to see if it would be possible for exchanged students to research the topic during their study abroads.
“Lo and behold, (the departments) were already aware of each other’s work and had collaborative relationships, which is ideal,” Brustein said.
Donald Hempson, global studies manager for the OSU College of Engineering, said the OSU student will be selected by a committee of materials science and engineering faculty and the student from Queensland will be chosen by their respective engineering department.
Hempson said opportunities for engineering students to study abroad are often limited because engineering curriculums are demanding and coursework has to match up precisely.
“No student is going to feel entirely comfortable participating in this program,” Hempson said. “They’ll be spending a semester and a half to two semesters abroad. Obviously students want to be confident … that they aren’t losing time toward graduation.”
Brustein said CampusParc approached him in spring 2012 asking how it could advance international education. Brustein suggested partnering with Queensland because it’s in the Universitas 21 network. Universitas 21 is an international network of research universities that OSU joined last summer.
Brustein also recommended Queensland because it and QIC are also both based in Queensland, Australia.
Brustein said students studying finance will likely also be considered for future exchanges because there are many opportunities for an internship with QIC’s portfolio of companies. Students who want to study parking allocation models, mathematical algorithms that help determine parking demand, could also be among those considered for the exchange program in the future.
“Given that Queensland is very much investing in health sciences, and so is Ohio State, maybe … down the road there could be a study abroad and internship in health sciences too,” Brustein said. “Engineering is just the start, as a pilot.”
Teed said he sees the program extending beyond five years.
“Five years is only in the agreement because we need to pause from time to time and assess success, and what needs to be tweaked and changed,” Teed said. “We’re here for the long term, and we want to build on that relationship in the long term.”
Editor’s note: A sentence was added to make Donald Hempson’s message about the program’s curriculum clear.