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UofA’s “micro-campus” program expands, set for more growth

The University of Arizona may be based in Tucson, but its reach goes far beyond the surrounding southern Arizona area. Phoenix residents may have already spotted MBA billboards along Camelback Rd. near Midtown or a giant Bear Down mural off 3rd St. and Van Buren in the downtown area. But beyond posting these flecks of Wildcat pride via its satellite campus marketing campaigns, the University of Arizona also makes its presence known across the globe by making its programs available to people in other countries.

The university recently announced the addition of two more “micro-campus” locations in its global network, opening up study locations in Indonesia and Jordan. The UofA, which already has campuses up and running in China and Cambodia, continues to inch toward its goal of hitting 25 campuses abroad within a three-year span.

The university is making it a team effort, grouping up with eight other universities around the world, to bring access to more education and more degree programs. Some of the other universities include De La Salle in Manila, Harbin Institute of Technology in Shenzhen, China, Princess Sumaya University of Technology in Amman, Jordan, and The Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas in Lima, Peru.

“The University of Arizona is re-envisioning what it means to be an international university in a digital age,” said former UA President Ann Weaver Hart at the time of the announcement. “This unique model creates access to the world-class UA educational experience and will have positive impact for faculty and students at our main campus and at campuses around the world.”

The UofA will spring up six more of these “micro-campuses” by fall of 2019. So, what exactly is a “micro-campus”? International programs aren’t uncommon and people can access certain programs online from almost anywhere. What makes these unique is that they divert from the usual branch-campus model. A university partners up with an international school, placing its programs within that campus that’s already built to avoid having to build a new brick-and-mortar location from scratch.

International students can still attend a campus close to home and get the benefit of a University of Arizona education. These students will participate in a dual-degree program without having to travel around the globe, saving them even more money.

International students can study in popular programs that include engineering, business and law with new degrees on the docket to be offered soon. The expansion of even more “micro-campuses” will bring these additional programs, such as social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, education, and health services to students across the globe under the UofA banner.

So, what’s in it for the university itself? The big kickback comes in the forms of grants and research opportunities, which in turn bolster more educational opportunities altogether. The program has the potential to reach about 25,000 global students currently, but with more campuses on their way in the coming months, that number will grow.

Nick Esquer

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