The University of Arizona is opening two more micro-campuses to students in partnership with universities in Lima, Peru, and Reduit, Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, in the fall of 2019.
Partner universities around the globe provide the physical space and infrastructure for UA micro-campuses at which students earn dual degrees from their local school and the UA. Academic programs at these campuses are delivered in collaboration with the partner university and are co-taught by UA and local professors.
Micro-campuses also serve as hubs for international collaboration in research and allow students to study at the UA main campus or anywhere else within the UA’s expanding network of micro-campuses.
Micro-campuses are already operating in Amman, Jordan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Qingdao, China.
About 15 percent of micro-campus students choose to spend a semester or more at the UA main campus in Tucson as part of their studies.
In addition to the two campuses opening in the fall, six more micro-campuses are being planned.
Expanding the UA’s global footprint via micro-campuses is part of the school’s strategic plan to have 20 sites with 10,000 students by 2025.
About 600 students are enrolled at micro-campuses. Total enrollment across the four open sites has nearly doubled every year since the first opened in fall 2015.
“The idea is that the University of Arizona goes to the student,” said Brent White, vice provost of global affairs and dean of global campuses.
“The cost of one year at the UA for international students can exceed $55,000,” White said. Alternatively, “micro-campuses allow access to a U.S. and UA degree at a much lower cost.”
The cost of attendance at a UA micro-campus varies because it is priced locally, but White said tuition is roughly what one would pay for UA Online.
For reference, UA Online undergraduate degree programs range from $490 to $600 per unit, and graduate programs range from $650 to $1,332 per unit. Most classes are three or four units.
Determining which degrees to offer is driven by local demand, White said.
“We are also seeking funding to offer degrees that are needed but don’t offer high economic return for the students,” he said, citing public health as an example.
Funding for the two new locations comes from the Thomas R. Brown Foundations. The $1 million donation will be split between the two campuses to support all startup costs such as course development, training and renovations.
“The micro-campus model is designed to be cost-effective,” White said. “We don’t need to build infrastructure. We don’t even pay the electric bill in some cases.
“Money flows from micro-campuses to support initiatives at home in Tucson. They’re self-sustaining and revenue-positive,” he said.
In partnership with the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas in Lima, the UA will offer Bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering; communication; philosophy, politics, economics and law; and business administration. The school will also offer Master's degrees in law, entrepreneurship and industrial engineering.
In partnership with the University of Mauritius, the UA will offer Bachelor's degrees in systems engineering and cyber operations and a Master's in entrepreneurship.