07 July 2010

MSU to Phase out Dubai Program

The Detroit Free Press

Michigan State University is phasing out a 2-year-old undergraduate program in Dubai that had students there taking courses in programs such as business, building construction and engineering.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon that the program hasn’t met initial expectations that it would add as many as 100 students per year. Currently, the program enrolls 85 students, about 12 of whom are graduate students.

MSU officials committed from the beginning that students admitted to MSU Dubai would have to meet the same admissions standards as those who are enrolled to attend the East Lansing Michigan college campus.

“What we were unable to do was recruit a critical mass of students meeting the same admissions standards,” Simon said.

Simon said reports the university has lost millions of dollars are incorrect. However, the MSU Foundation will be providing $3.5 million to cover money the Dubai government was supposed to provide in fiscal year 2010.

An additional $1.3 million to $1.7 million from the university’s unrestricted investment income are needed for what Simon described as “wind-down” costs as the university phases out the programs in Dubai.

“So it’s a financial wash in that regard,” Simon said.

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