View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, February 15, 2008

U.S. Universities in the UAE

“When John Sexton, the president of New York University, first met Omar Saif Ghobash, an investor trying to entice him to open a branch campus in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Sexton was not sure what to make of the proposal — so he asked for a $50 million gift.”

“It’s like earnest money: if you’re a $50 million donor, I’ll take you seriously,” Mr. Sexton said. “It’s a way to test their bona fides.” In the end, the money materialized from the government of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates.

So begins an intriguing article in the New York Times (10 February 2008) entitled ‘U.S. Universities Rush to Set Up Outposts Abroad’.

Some of the ethical and legal challenges for the university outposts and the UAE government are stated in an earlier posting on this site entitled, ‘New York University, Abu Dhabi Campus Has not Clarified Human Rights Issues’.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Aisha al-Qaissieh is among the students taking an accounting class in Abu Dhabi offered by New York Institute of Technology, one of the many American institutions that are trying to become global universities.
Photo, courtesy of the NY Times.