University of Arizona rolls out Global Campus focused on international students

For students around the world who can’t come to the University of Arizona, the university is now coming to them — and not just online.

UArizona on Monday announced the launch of its Global Campus, which expands many of the university’s programs to 34 countries through partnerships with other international universities and with global student accommodations provider GSA.

The new initiative allows students who cannot make it to UArizona’s main campus in Tucson because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, financial limitations or other reasons to pursue programs with UArizona instructors at Global Campus locations, via online courses or through a combination of the two.

"The Global Campus is a long-term effort toward meeting the United Nations' sustainable development goal of providing accessible quality education to the world," University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said in a statement. "We are truly making affordable, world-class education available to global citizens around the world and, in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been needed more.”

The university said it accelerated the expansion when the coronavirus pandemic started to lead to international travel and visa disruptions, affecting students and potential students around the world. Now, students can get started where they are with a view to eventually finishing in Arizona, or they can complete their degrees in their home countries.

"This rapid implementation is possible because Global Campus builds on two existing strengths: our network of microcampus locations and our top-ranked Arizona Online," UArizona Provost Liesl Folks said in a statement. "We want to help students achieve their dreams of a U.S. degree, whether it is from the University of Arizona or another U.S. university."

Partner campuses are at 73 sites in 32 countries, and GSA student community locations are available at another 58 sites, meaning the Global Campus can be accessed in more than 130 cities around the world.

Students are able to take a mix of UArizona courses online and partner university courses in person to compete degrees in more than 200 undergraduate majors, 10 graduate certificates and 60 graduate and undergraduate online degrees.

They can receive in-person academic support and are able to use computer labs, study areas, libraries, recreational facilities and other advantages offered at the partner campuses.

"This program is tailored to meet the access needs of international students,” said Brent White, dean of Global Campus and vice provost of global affairs at UArizona. “Many cannot afford to attend college in the United States; some do not have high-speed internet required to take classes online; and nearly all are unable to travel internationally, due the Covid-19 pandemic. Global Campus addresses all of these issues."