Arkansas State University (ASU) will be the first American public university to open a campus in Mexico, with classes scheduled to begin in August at its new facilities in Colón, Querétaro.
With an investment of over US $75 million, the university’s first phase consists of 90,000 square meters of infrastructure in nine different buildings on 70 hectares. Construction is 70% completed.
ASU Colón expects to enroll close to 1,000 students next summer, and expectations are that enrollment will reach 4,500 in the next four years. Up to 30% will be foreigners, mainly from Asian, Central and South American countries.
By the end of the next 15 to 20 years, ASU plans to reach its maximum planned capacity of 20,000 students, creating 1,000 direct jobs.
The initial degree programs cover three major subject areas: business and communications, engineering and technology, and science, all taught in English. Students will receive a degree valid in both the United States and Mexico.
Two master’s degrees will also be available, in business management and engineering management.
ASU has a 20-year plan to create a full-blown university city, with housing and leisure and cultural centers for students and faculty.
The long-term development plan also includes the creation of an industrial park and a research center, both catering to the needs of the region’s industry and the academic training of students.
Querétaro was “the ideal place for the university,” said the president of the Querétaro foundation that is building the campus, “given its safety and its over 4,000 industries, 1,300 of which are foreign.”
The state also has the greatest economic and demographic growth in the country, said Ricardo González of the ASU Campus Querétaro.
“The goal of the campus is to supply the ever-increasing demand for career professionals in the state, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, appliance and biotechnology areas.”
Applications for admission are now being accepted, the university said at an event yesterday in Colón.