Amid a budget crisis and mounting student dissatisfaction at home, the University of California at Berkeley has just announced that it will open an engineering campus in Shanghai next summer. From the New York Times:
The public university, which is struggling under budget constraints imposed by the state of California, said the Shanghai center would cater to engineering graduate students and be financed over the next five years largely by the Shanghai government and companies operating here. The program is expected to begin in July 2012.
Berkeley’s announcement comes as other prominent American universities are racing to build closer ties to China, hoping to attract new students, deepen research capabilities and set up sites to train business professionals to succeed in the booming Chinese market. New York University and Duke University are each building a campus in the Shanghai area, and Stanford is building a $5 million research center on the campus of the elite Peking University in the city of Beijing.
“This will be a platform or base of operations for us” said Tsu-Jae King Liu, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at Berkeley, and the associate dean for research at the College of Engineering. “A major reason to do this is to enhance the opportunities for our students. We want them to be better prepared to become global leaders.”
A number of U.S. universities are setting their sights on China and the high demand there for quality higher education. New York University recently announced plans to open a campus in Shanghai.