Kean U. (NJ) Plans to Open a Full Campus in China in 2007

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed May 10 13:22:29 UTC 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kean U., in New Jersey, Plans to Open a Full Campus in China in 2007


Kean University, in New Jersey, signed an agreement with Chinese officials
this week to open what is believed will be the first full-scale campus
operated by an American university in China. Plans for the campus, which
will offer a complete curriculum and confer both bachelor's and master's
degrees, follow on the heels of similar actions by several foreign
institutions that have established programs or campuses in the country in
recent years (The Chronicle, February 17).  Previous American efforts have
mostly been limited to graduate-degree programs offered at Chinese
universities. To be located in Wenzhou, a coastal city in southeastern
China, the Kean campus will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2007.
It will accommodate 3,500 to 4,000 Chinese students by the time it is
fully operational in 2009, said Daniel Higgins, a spokesman for the
university.  Courses at the university will be taught in English by Kean

Mr. Higgins said that when the Chinese campus is completed, it will have
nearly all of the same facilities, including dormitories and advising
centers, that are available on the American campus. "Pretty much anything
you would find on the campus in New Jersey, you would find on the campus
in China," he said. The entire cost of building and operating the campus,
estimated at $62.5-million, will be paid for by the Chinese government,
but Mr. Higgins said that academic freedom would not be sacrificed as a
result. "It's total access, complete freedom of speech," he said. "That
was crucial to the deal."

Students will have access to the Kean University library system through
the Internet, Mr. Higgins said, and they will be allowed to view anything
that Kean's students in New Jersey can view. "They will have everything at
their disposal," he said. Over the past few years, numerous foreign
colleges and universities have set up programs in China to capitalize on
the country's growing need for higher-education institutions. The
International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank, says that
there are now more than 700 foreign academic programs operating in China,
with 150 of those being American. Despite the problems that some of those
institutions have faced, including disputes with their mandatory Chinese
partners and too much government oversight, universities are continuing to
set up large operations in China. The University of Liverpool, in England,
will open up a Chinese campus in September, and the State University of
New York at Albany, in collaboration with several other American,
Canadian, and Chinese universities, is building a university in China that
will serve 10,000 students when it is completed in three to five years.

SIAS International University, in China's Henan province, 500 miles west
of Shanghai, states on its Web site that it is American-owned, but it was
set up by a businessman, not a university (The Chronicle, February 17).

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