China-Europe-US cross-cultural degree program launched in Rome

Earlier this week, Italy's LUISS University hosted the launch of the world's first triple-degree program that groups together students from China, Europe and the United

States to equip them with multicultural knowledge in the areas of business, academic work, and cultural heritage.

The so-called ACE program is operated by the Renmin University in Beijing, the George Washington University in the United States, and the Rome-based LUISS University.

"The goal of the three-year program is to create a kind of 'cultural competency,'" Andrea Prencipe, an economist and LUISS University's rector, told Xinhua.

"We believe the students involved will surpass the (usual) norms because of the experiences they will have," he said.

Under the program co-hosted by the participating universities, a group of students from Asia, Europe, and the United States will work together on the selected topics. They will complete the program with triple bachelor's degrees, one from each university, with an emphasis on what the LUISS University calls "competence and adaptability."

The program officially began a year ago with studies at each student's home university, and this year's launch represented the start of the three-year international phase of the curriculum, involving all three capital cities.

The program, which covers topics like business administration, international business and global political economy and management, also relies on partnership agreements with over 300 other universities in 65 countries.

"Arriving in Rome surprised me in a good way," Sihan Yang, an 18-year-old student from Beijing, told Xinhua. "It is one thing to read about cultural and academic differences in a textbook, and another to experience it first-hand. I think the value of a program like this goes beyond what we study. It's a whole new world."

Wanli Yang, 19, from Chengdu, agreed: "I can already see this will help us prepare for working in business in Europe and around the world ... It is proving to be a great introduction to the global business stage."

The program at the LUISS University will cover business fundamentals and doing business in Europe, while the other two universities will focus on the Chinese and American aspects of these topics.