UT and BGSU merge aviation programs for students, expand international market

Abby Welsh and Abby Welsh

Despite the University of Toledo and the University’s strong athletic rivalry, the two schools are on the same page when it comes to academics.

UT and the University signed a letter of agreement to develop the Northwest Ohio Aviation Education Consortium where they announced a new collaboration that they will build off the University’s Aviation Studies Program. This was announced Monday morning at the Wood County Regional Airport Hangar where University President Mary Ellen Mazey, UT’s President Lloyd Jacobs and Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner spoke about the new collaboration.

UT signed a letter of intent with a Chinese university, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Shenzen Campus, to develop an aviation program. Because of this letter of intent, efforts will be centered around recruiting students from China and Asia to expand the international demand in this market.

“The demand for higher education in aviation-related fields in China and Asia is tremendous,” Jacobs said. “Working together, BGSU and UT are well positioned to serve this market’s demand.”

Students will be able to receive their associates degree at UT and finish with their bachelor’s degree at the University, Mazey said during the announcement.

The logistics of how students can get their degree are still being discussed, Mazey said.

“This is the way of the future – collaborating with universities to broaden opportunities and communities,” Mazey said. “Three years ago when I came here, I wanted to pursue building partnerships and this is one of three major ones.”

Because of the high demand in aviation, Jacobs said this is also a way to expand the market’s needs and help international relationships, which is a major reason this consortium is occurring.

“This consortium will help build up with China and Asia,” Jacobs said. “With UT’s international studies and BGSU’s flight classes, this will be a great start to something new.”

Mazey said the help of North Star Aviation, Inc. has made it possible for the aviation studies program at the University become a part of this collaboration.

In February, the University contracted with North Star Aviation, Inc. to help refurbish and provide flight instructions for the program at the University. NSA, which is a general aviation company, has an Ohio company that will operate the training department as Bowling Green Flight Center LLC.

“It will benefit our communities, the region and the state of Ohio,” Mazey said.

Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner said he believes the public entities together will be a success for the two universities.

“This provides real potential building on this agreement that the two schools have signed and I want to congratulate you both,” Gardner said during the announcement.