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UND, Tokai University celebrate 10 years of partnership

Posted on 10/19/2015

Tokai students enjoy benefits of UND Aerospace aviation training contract

It's a strong, healthy partnership now celebrating its 10th year at the University of North Dakota John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Tokai University has been sending aviation students to UND for training since 2005.

"It's a testament to our core values and the excellent education we provide students from all over the world," said Odegard School Dean Bruce Smith, who travels to Tokai University later this month as a guest of the program.

The two schools in 2002 signed a four year extension to the successful collaboration.

"This was very exciting for us," said Chuck Pineo, executive vice president of the UND Aerospace Foundation, which administers this and several similar international training contracts. "We signed our first agreement with Tokai University in November 2005, and since then more than 200 Tokai students have gone through our program, many now back in Japan working for airlines."

"We appreciate this collaboration with UND," Tokai University engineering Dean Katsumi Hiraoka said at the time of signing the extension in March 2014. "We now have 160 pilots with jobs in airlines who went through the UND aviation program."

As part of the agreement, Tokai University students attend UND aerospace for 15 months while training to become commercial pilots. The first four-year agreement had two classes a year of 20 students each. Tokai students are in Grand Forks for about 15 months while training to become commercial pilots.

When they leave UND Aerospace, they have both their U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate as well as their Japan Civil Aviation Bureau credentials.

The UND-Tokai partnership inspired a Japanese television drama, partly filmed at UND last year. Fuji TV brought 40 cast and crew to the UND campus September 2014 to produce four of the series' 11 episodes, aired in Japan earlier this year.

About UND Aerospace

UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying more than 115,000 hours per year in more than 140 aircraft.

With more than 1,900 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.

About Tokai University

Tokai University is a private university established by Shigeyoshi Matsumae in 1942. The Tokai University Educational System is one of the largest general education and research institutions in Japan today, and currently has more than 30,000 students.

Juan Miguel Pedraza, Writer/Editor
National Media Relations Coordinator
Division of University & Public Affairs

Instructor, Marketing Dept.
College of Business & Public Administration

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