10 Oct Are Universities the Newest Export?
The concept of “global universities” is taking shape rapidly as many U.S. universities are setting up campuses in foreign countries and offering American degrees.
Notable among such universities is the New York University campus in Abu Dhabi, which is scheduled to open this Fall. N.Y.U.’s $50 million campus is a full-fledged liberal arts university. Similarly, in Doha, Qatar, students can study medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell, Engineering at Texas A&M, International Politics at Georgetown, and business and computer science at Carnegie Mellon. George Mason University has a campus in Ras al Khaymah.
Georgia Tech offers degree programs in France, Italy, South Africa, Singapore, and China, with plans to expand into India.
In addition to U.S. universities, Australian and British institutions are also offering instruction in English in India and China.
Proponents believe that foreign campuses of U.S. universities not only benefit the institutions, but also students worldwide. International students can now have access to American education and at the same time, cut down on expenses and minimize culture shock. Universities can increase their international presence, help the U.S. build diplomatic relations, and earn revenue by tapping into the global market.
Opponents stress that establishing campuses abroad dilutes the American higher education system and creates a competitive disadvantage. Many criticize the bona fides of the “American” degrees as most educators at these foreign campuses are local recruits.
While historically study abroad/exchange programs and collaborative research with foreign educational institutions have been part of U.S. colleges and universities, setting up overseas campuses is a novel experiment.
Are “global universities’ the wave of the future? Can universities really export American higher education system to countries that have different socio-cultural backgrounds? What are the pros? What are the cons? What do you think?
-Lilly Golden, Examville Blog Contributor