U. of Utah Will Open a Branch Campus in South Korea

The University of Utah is moving ahead with plans to open its first international branch campus, which will be located at Songdo Global University Campus, a project subsidized by the South Korean government, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Songdo Global University Campus, a collaborative attempt to blend Korean, American, and European academic strengths, has gotten off to a somewhat shaky start, with several of its initial American partner institutions scaling back or suspending planned operations there because of the economic downturn. But the University of Utah’s trustees voted last week to proceed.

Among other benefits, the South Korean government will provide the university with at least $1.5-million a year to support its first four years of operations there, and allow it to use the campus rent-free for at least five years. “This is an opportunity that is about as risk-free as you can have,” Robert Muir, the university’s director of international operations and financial analytics, told the Tribune. “We feel comfortable that we will be able to do this with no investment from the state.”

Utah aims to start with about 100 undergraduate and 25 graduate students studying social work, psychology, communications, writing, or English language. Degrees in bioengineering and mathematics teaching are planned for 2016. Twenty percent of the students would be from Utah studying abroad in Songdo.

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