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Korean Ministry of Education Approves University of Utah Asia Campus

Songdo Campus in South Korea.

Feb. 24, 2014 – The Korean Ministry of Education today announced approval for the University of Utah Asia Campus to be located within the Incheon area, part of one of Asia’s largest free economic zones. The university will begin classes in September, and students enrolling can choose from three undergraduate degrees: social work, communication and psychology. The university will also offer one graduate degree in public health. Additional degree programs will be added to the Asia Campus offerings beginning in the fall of 2015 with the goal of 2,000 U students enrolled at the campus within six years.

In 2008 the University of Utah was invited by the Korean government to be one of the first four U.S. and European universities – all of which are ranked among the top 100 in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University – to participate in this new global university campus. A business, cultural and recreational hub, the Incheon Free Economic Zone includes the Incheon International Airport, Incheon Port and the Songdo International City of the Future. It is within 3 1/2 hours, by air, of one-third of the world’s population.

“This approval by the Korean Ministry of Education is a pivotal milestone in the development of an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty,” said university President David W. Pershing. “Our participation as a founding institution of this exciting global university allows us to also better fulfill our core mission to serve the people of Utah, by providing a convenient, cost-effective way for Utah students to study in Asia.”

Students enrolled at the U Asia Campus will be part of a global student body that includes students from Belgium’s Ghent University, George Mason University and the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Campus operations will be financially subsidized by the Korean government, involve no infrastructure costs for the U, and no expenditures of state dollars.

Korean students are predicted to make up 40 percent of the student body, with applicants from across Asia making up 40 percent. The remaining 20 percent of students will likely come from the U.S. and Europe. Undergraduate students enrolled at the U Asia Campus will spend three of four years in Korea and one year at the university’s main campus in Salt Lake City. Graduate students in the public health master’s degree program will spend one year in Korea and one year at the U’s main campus. The new campus also plans to serve as a gateway for Utah students to engage in an array of learning-abroad and global internship experiences throughout Asia.

Students applying to the Asia campus will have the same admissions requirements as U main campus students and will receive a University of Utah degree upon graduation. Faculty teaching in Asia beginning this September includes professors and lecturers from the U’s main campus, appointed by participating departments and colleges.

“Our goal is to provide the highest quality academic experience comparable to that of our main campus and under the leadership and guidance of U faculty and staff,” said Michael Hardman, University of Utah chief global officer. “The success of the U Asia Campus is dependent upon the strongest possible links with the people, resources and support from our main campus.”

The University of Utah will accept student applications until July 1 for the fall semester, and admission will be granted on a rolling basis. Those who want to apply can find more information here. Inquiries can also be directed to the office of admissions.