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NECO and Wenzhou Medical University Move Towards Joint PhD/OD Program

WMU Campus

The China Scholarship Council recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Chinese International Cooperative Innovative Talents Project funding. Included in the list of 29 approved projects was the PhD/OD program with New England College of Optometry and Wenzhou Medical University (WMU), a joint optometry and doctoral degree program between China and the US. It was the only project selected in the Zhejiang province in 2018 to be included in the Chinese International Cooperative Innovative Talents Projects.

Sino-US cooperation in the development of a joint MS-OD degree program including optometry was launched by NECO in 2001, in conjunction with Wenzhou Medical University. The program was designed to cultivate and support high-quality talented individuals in the eye care fields in China. Original graduates received a Chinese Medical degree (MS) from Wenzhou Medical University and an Doctor of Optometry (OD) from the New England College of Optometry. Moving forward, the Chinese degree program will now culminate with a PhD instead of a Masters degree, making it a joint PhD/OD program.

At the time the joint degree program was established, it was the first Sino-foreign cooperative education project approved by the United States and recognized by both the governments of China and the United States. It marked an important undertaking for the development of optometry and ophthalmology education in China.

To date, a total of 29 students from WMU have been enrolled in the program, of whom 24 have completed their studies at both WMU and NECO. Graduates have become leaders in ophthalmology, optometry education, scientific research, and clinical fields in China after graduation. New England College of Optometry is proud to participate in the continued growth of this joint venture with WMU.

About the Chinese International Cooperative Innovative Talents Project Fund.

The Chinese International Cooperative Innovative Talents Projects Fund, established in 2014, is organized and implemented by the China Scholarship Council and is open to all universities and research institutes across the country to advance the quality of scientific training and cultivate future talents. In 2018, only 29 new projects were selected across the country.

About New England College of Optometry

New England College of Optometry is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. NECO was founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, and is the oldest continuously operating school of optometry in the United States. NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences.   Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our work in our school programs, community programs, community health centers, and VA medical centers.

Media Contact: Ingrid Hoogendoorn, Director of Communications
phone: 617-587-5722