Fairleigh Dickinson University is planning to open a branch campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2006. The campus will offer a limited number of degree programs designed primarily to serve international students.
“Building on our mission and tradition of educating world citizens and extending our global reach, the Vancouver branch campus will attract international students from throughout the world,” said FDU President J. Michael Adams. The campus also is expected to raise revenues that will support the continued growth of all of the University campuses.
Since 2000, Fairleigh Dickinson had been exploring the development of a network of branch campuses to serve international students. A Board of Trustees Strategic Task Force was subsequently formed to conduct a lengthy evaluation and to identify possible locations for such a campus. On December 15, 2004, the Board approved moving forward with the development of the Vancouver branch campus.
Vancouver was selected for several reasons. Basing a campus outside the United States is consistent with the University’s global mission. In addition, with its location close to the United States and on the Pacific Rim, Vancouver is well positioned to attract international students, particularly those from Asian countries.
Vancouver is also attractive economically. The cost of living — and the cost of providing programs — is significantly lower than in the United States. Finally, obtaining a visa to study in Canada is less difficult for many international students than obtaining one to study in the United States.
“We believe this will be a tremendous opportunity for international students to enjoy an affordable program while gaining the prestige associated with a degree program from an American university,” Adams said.
Christopher Capuano, director of the School of Psychology on the Metropolitan Campus and the chair of the Vancouver Academic Steering Committee, said two undergraduate degree programs with various concentrations will be offered when the campus opens. They are:
• B.S. in business management, with concentrations in:
- accounting and international business
- entrepreneurship and international business
- finance and international business
- marketing and international business
- information technology and international business
• B.S. in information technology, with a concentration in business administration
The business management program will be administered by the appropriate departments in the Silberman College of Business and follow the guidelines of the college’s accrediting body, AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The information technology program will be run by the School of Computer Science and Engineering in University College: Arts • Sciences • Professional Studies.
An Administrative Steering Committee also has been formed to develop plans needed in areas such as recruitment, admissions, facilities, technology, human resources and marketing.
In addition to extensive, internal planning efforts, the University has applied to the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education for consent to establish the campus. Classes are scheduled to begin in November 2006 for approximately 70 students. By the fifth year, 400 to 500 students are expected to be enrolled.
The University is working closely with an international real-estate brokerage firm to find an attractive location for the campus. In addition to a site with ample space to support the academic programs and student services, the University is seeking to provide students with convenient access to public transportation and retail and dining establishments.
University representatives met with officials from British Columbia’s two largest higher-education institutions, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, both in Vancouver. Simon Fraser has agreed to permit FDU students to access the British Columbia Electronic Library Network, which they host. This extensive library system pools all the online resources of British Columbia university libraries. In addition, the University plans to contract with a local university library so students can use traditional library facilities. Students also will have access to FDU’s libraries in New Jersey.