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U of U to open branch campus in South Korea

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Mar 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-24 01:15:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah is slated to open its first international branch campus, which will be located in South Korea.

Michael Hardman, interim senior vice president for academic affairs at the U of U, said the campus will be subsidized by the South Korean government. He said they have people in Korea ready to help the project along.

“We have a number of connections in [South] Korea,” he said. “We have a college pharmacy lab already in the China City area, and we have a number of faculty who are involved in a collaboration of research over in Korea. We also have a very active alumni association in Korea… who we stay in touch with who are interested in being a part of the operation.”

The campus was originally going to include several U.S. universities in a privately developed city, but this did not come to fruition, as other universities dropped out of the initiative.

Hardman said he sees the university’s partnership with South Korea as a win for students and faculty alike.

“Our students will be able to go to Songdo as part of the study abroad program, the learning abroad program, and be able to participate with other students from the other western universities that are there at Songdo, as well as Korean students and  Asian students from all over in learning experiences,” he said.

Hardman also said the venture is a risk-free opportunity. The University will get an interest-free $10 million loan, which has no obligation for repayment unless the campus is profitable. The South Korean government will give the U of U about $1.5 million a year to fund the first four years of operations at the South Korean campus.