EAST LANSING — Michigan State University is moving forward to forge a strong Middle East presence by signing an agreement that will put into action the next steps toward opening not-for-profit MSU programs in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC).
Classes there will begin as early as fall 2008.
The agreement moves MSU closer to becoming the first North American university to have a presence in the Dubai International Academic City. The invitation from DIAC will enable students from the region to attend a world-class research university and open doors to academic and research partnerships.
“Teaching and research throughout the world are important educational components for building our collective futures in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world,” said MSU President, Lou Anna K. Simon. “Michigan State’s presence in Dubai is a reflection of our world-grant commitment to extend MSU’s knowledge and innovation around the globe and specifically to a region of vital interest to us all.”
MSU in Dubai not only will offer students from and living in one of the most vibrant and growing economic hubs in the Middle East an American university experience, but also will give MSU a widened presence in a region that includes potential partners from North Africa, South Asia and the Gulf.
The Dubai International Academic City, located about 20 minutes from the Dubai business district, addresses the enormous demands for higher education in a nation noted for its growing positive regional and world influence.
MSU will have full academic authority and quality control over courses and programs, and MSU’s regular course, program, degree, admissions and accreditation requirements will be maintained. Diplomas will be standard MSU diplomas.
MSU worked to mesh MSU’s academic strengths with regional needs, said John Hudzik, MSU vice president of global engagement and strategic projects. MSU in Dubai is planning initially to offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Although key steps remain in order to conclude arrangements, the project is moving forward expeditiously, Hudzik said.
“MSU is pleased to be expanding its model of higher education in Dubai,” said MSU Provost Kim Wilcox. “The development of education and research programs there will be guided by our core values of inclusion, quality and engagement – and with the goal of assuring interconnectedness between instruction and research.”
It is anticipated each undergraduate program will admit about 40 students and each graduate program 20 students, Hudzik said. Faculty will come both from MSU and new hires from the region as vetted by the home MSU departments.
Tuition has not yet been set.
“With its presence in Dubai International Academic City, Michigan State University broadens its role in a region of the world of vital interest to us all, and it complements the university’s programs already in the wider region,” Hudzik said. “We believe that this new effort in Dubai enhances all of our efforts throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
TECOM is helping arrange a line of credit to fund start-up costs to be repaid from program revenues and will not draw from campus resources, Hudzik said.
MSU in Dubai is the latest of projects initiated by the International Academic City, established in 2006. By partnering with a highly-ranked U.S. academic research institution, Dubai International Academic City envisions MSU in Dubai as a center for new knowledge generation: a place that provides world-class higher education and research facilities for outreach to the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The academic city spans 25 million square feet and is dedicated solely to universities and colleges. Eight million square feet have been dedicated to the international higher education zone, while three million square feet will be allocated for research and development centers.
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.