The Thomas R. Brown Foundations has donated $1 million to the University of Arizona to establish micro-campuses at leading universities in Peru and Mauritius. The money will be split evenly between the locations to support startup costs such as course development, training and renovations.

UA Lima at La Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas and UA Mauritius at the University of Mauritius are on track to accept their first students in the fall of 2019, joining an expanding network of UA micro-campuses worldwide. The UA already has fully operational sites in Qingdao, China; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Amman, Jordan.

“As a leading international research university, the UA plays a distinctive role in helping to shape the future of higher education and the opportunities/quality of life available to people worldwide,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “Micro-campuses connect us with prestigious international universities, paving the way for collaborative research to help us tackle global challenges. At the same time, we are able to offer leading-edge education to students across the globe, preparing them to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The Thomas R. Brown Foundations has long been an incredible supporter of the UA, and I am grateful for their partnership and innovative vision.”

Academic programs at micro-campuses are delivered collaboratively with partner universities and are co-taught by UA and local professors. Students who meet admissions standards can enroll at micro-campuses and earn degrees from the UA and the partner university, including accelerated master’s degree options.

“The UA is working to set the standard for global universities, and this gift from the Thomas R. Brown Foundations will help us advance one of the world’s most affordable, accessible and expansive networks for education and research,” said Brent White, UA vice provost for global affairs and dean of global campuses and international education. “The micro-campuses in Mauritius and Peru will be self-sustaining in a year, providing a new revenue stream for the UA while opening doors to economic opportunities to thousands of students worldwide.”

The gift comes as the UA begins implementation of its new strategic plan, in which global education, engagement and research play prominent roles. As part of a comprehensive international strategy, the UA plans to establish 20 micro-campuses with 10,000 students by 2025, with regional hubs in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. 

“The Brown family and the Thomas R. Brown Foundations have long been extraordinarily generous and visionary partners to the University of Arizona. Their commitment to endowing faculty chairs and scholarships, for instance, will have a tremendous impact far beyond any of our lifetimes. This gift is pivotal in establishing this crucial venture, and I speak on behalf of so many who are grateful for their partnership,” said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the UA Foundation.

The UA locations in Mauritius and Peru will not only provide degrees to local students who might otherwise lack access, but they also will establish study abroad sites for students from the main campus in Tucson. The UA anticipates sending study abroad students to the micro-campuses in Mauritius and Peru starting in 2020.

“The micro-campus model is an innovative way to advance so many important objectives, including study abroad opportunities, exposure to the UA for prospective international students and enhanced global research opportunities,” said Sarah Smallhouse, president of the Thomas R. Brown Foundations. “The microcampus network is an opportunity for the UA to grow a new net revenue stream based on exporting its academic expertise, while also enhancing the UA’s reputation worldwide and providing high-quality degrees to global students. This is truly an exciting advance in higher education led by Arizona.