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Yale Ends Undergrad Exchange Program at Peking University

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Yale University said it’s canceling an undergraduate-exchange partnership with Beijing’s Peking University after the program attracted too few participants.

The undergraduate exchange had suffered from low enrollment since its inception in 2006 and just four Yale students enrolled for fall 2012, Yale said today in an e-mailed statement.

“It is disappointing to all of us that after six years we could not attract a critical mass for this outstanding program,” Jane Edwards, Yale’s dean of international and professional experience, said in today’s statement. The students who had signed up for the coming semester will either return to campus or pursue another program overseas.

The program was the only one where undergraduate students from a foreign university were allowed to live with Peking University students rather than in an international dormitory, according to a Yale statement in December.

In 2009, a review committee found that while students spent the same number of in-class hours studying Chinese at Peking University as they would have back at campus in New Haven, Connecticut, the classes were less rigorous and left them behind their stateside peers.

“This can create problems for students who wish, upon their return to New Haven, to continue their study of the language,” the report found.

The Yale Daily News, which reported the cancellation this morning prior to the afternoon statement, suggested cost may have played a role in the decision, citing a faculty member’s e-mail that called the program “extremely expensive” for Yale.

Yale will continue other partnerships with Peking University, including a joint center for plant genetics and faculty collaborations, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanna Smialek in New York at jsmialek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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