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U Arizona Launches Global Campus with 73 Locations

The University of Arizona has expedited plans to launch a global campus, involving other institutions of higher education on five continents, to reach international students whose plans have been disrupted by COVID-19-induced campus closures, international travel restrictions or visa moratoriums. The Global Campus concept involves students taking a combination of UA classes online and in-person classes locally while living on campuses near them or in purpose-built residential communities. The students can eventually choose to transition to the United States or earn their degrees from UA entirely from their home country.

According to the university, the idea has been in development for several years. In 2015, UA opened a "microcampus" at Ocean University of China in 2015. Now the microcampus network has 10 global locations. The institution has also increased the number of online courses and degrees it delivers through University of Arizona Online, all of which are available to both U.S. and international students.

The Global Campus provides 10 customized degree paths to 200-plus undergraduate majors, 10 graduate certificates and 60 fully online degrees. Some 73 global campus locations in 32 different countries will serve as partner universities, to provide the college experience to students. The on-campus living experience also provides access to academic support, as well as access to computer labs, study areas, libraries, recreational facilities, clubs and student activities, all provided by the partner school.

Another 58 locations are in student accommodations that offer a community where students can live and study. These locations are available through partnerships with Uninest, the Student Housing Company and Nexo, which are all brands of GSA, a company that specializes in student accommodations.

"What we are offering is unique," said Brent White, dean of Global Campus and UA vice provost of global affairs, in a statement. "The Global Campus experience builds on our top-tier digital courses and degrees, providing rich and highly supported experiences, with access to an in-person community and needed resources, such as high-speed WiFi.

"This program is tailored to meet the access needs of international students. Many cannot afford to attend college in the United States; some do not have high-speed internet required to take classes online; and nearly all are unable to travel internationally, due the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Campus addresses all of these issues."

University officials said UA would also work with other American universities that have international students who are unable to attend classes due to travel restrictions. The idea is that UA credits would transfer to those other U.S. institutions.

Students can begin enrolling for the fall 2020 semester. A new university website provides information about degree path options and connections to advisers who can help students create plans for their education.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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