Accepted into Education City: American Universities Setting Up Campuses in the Middle East Represent the Next Step in the Globalization of U.S. Higher Education

By Asquith, Christina | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, June 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Accepted into Education City: American Universities Setting Up Campuses in the Middle East Represent the Next Step in the Globalization of U.S. Higher Education


Asquith, Christina, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Just minutes from the Persian Gulf's translucent blue waters, through the flat, white desert and past the headquarters of the Al Jazeera news network, a large sign in both Arabic and English reads: "Welcome to Education City."

Inside the 2,500-acre, well-guarded compound, students from across the Arab world are enrolled in one of five premier U.S. universities that have arrived in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar in recent years to deliver American-style education and degrees. The institutions include Carnegie Mellon University, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University School for the Arts and Weill Cornell Medical Center, which offers the first and only American medical degree outside of the United States.

Qatar's Education City, perhaps the world's most diverse campus, is almost entirely unknown in the United States, but represents the next step in the globalization of en higher education--international franchising. Aided by technology such as online libraries, distance learning and streaming video, U.S. universities offer--and charge tuition for--a combination of live and digital education that is supposedly indistinguishable in quality from that received on the home campuses.

The exportation of U.S. education could bring tremendous educational opportunities and financial gain for universities. But no one is precisely sure how this bold experiment will turn out.

"No one has ever done this before," says Dr. James Reardon-Anderson, dean of Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar. "This is not 'Georgetown Lite.' If we screw up, people will be walking around with a Georgetown degree who don't deserve it."

Royal Backing

Education City is the brainchild of the ambitious and popular Qatari royal family, the Al-Thanis, who run this enormously wealthy country of 800,000 people. Qatar, a neighbor of Saudi Arabia, rests on a rich bed of oil and natural gas, and the Qatari royal family has spent billions building Education City, traveling the globe courting top universities and companies.

As part of the deal with American universities, the Qatari royal family is footing the entire bill, from constructing architecturally stunning lecture halls to paying professors' travel, housing and salaries. They have also agreed to take a "hands-off" approach in regards to content and course material. This intellectual openness, while unusual in the Arab world, is part of Qatar's broader plan to "reclaim the luster of Arab education after centuries in the dark ages," say planners.

The vast experiment is in its embryonic stages. The Al-Thanis are currently in talks with a U.S. postgraduate business school and a U.S. journalism school. An $8 billion teaching hospital, expected to be the region's best, is also under construction, to be opened in 2010. There are currently more than 450 students enrolled, and the population will grow to between 7,000 and 10,000.

"The whole world is going global, so why should higher education be any different?" asks Maggie Robbins, executive assistant at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which has seen its international accreditation grow rapidly. Most of the American professors and administrators involved in Education City admit to being taken aback when first approached about going to Qatar, which is about the size of Connecticut.

"I said, 'I don't know how to play the guitar,'" recalls Peter Martin, assistant professor of graphic design of VCU, when he was first approached about the opportunity by his department dean. "And he said, 'No, Qatar.' I didn't know anything about Qatar. But my wife thought it would be an adventure, and we agreed to come here one year. That was in 1999."

By September 2006, 170 professors will be in all five campuses, a faculty-student ratio of about 1:10. Slightly more than half of the professors are from the United States. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Accepted into Education City: American Universities Setting Up Campuses in the Middle East Represent the Next Step in the Globalization of U.S. Higher Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.