Teaneck, NJ (May 18, 2006) — Fairleigh Dickinson University received final approval on May 8, 2006, from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education to offer degree programs and operate as a university in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where it plans to open a branch campus.
The new Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver campus will serve primarily international students from Pacific Rim and other Asian countries and will initially offer a B.S. in business management with concentrations in finance, international business, marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, and information technology and a B.S. in information technology with a concentration in business management. Both programs will follow the same curricula offered in business management and information technology in New Jersey, and both degrees will be U.S. degrees approved by the State of New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. The Vancouver campus will also fall under the University’s regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Following the endorsement of the University’s applications by the British Columbia Degree Quality Assessment Board and a lengthy review process, the Minister of Advanced Education on May 8 formally signed letters confirming FDU’s degree granting authority. The University is the first non-Canadian institution to gain approval under the new more stringent standards adopted by British Columbia in 2003.
President J. Michael Adams said, “Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver will be an important part of the University’s global mission and will greatly extend the University’s reach and reputation. More than five years ago, FDU officials began researching a branch campus to serve international students. Since then, many individuals have contributed their time and talents to this initiative. The Board of Trustees has supported and directed this initiative and they deserve a heartfelt thank you; I also want to applaud the work of the Academic and Administrative Steering Committees and the members of those committees who continue to meet and build the foundation and infrastructure of the campus.
“We believe this will be a tremendous opportunity for international students to enjoy an affordable program while gaining the prestige associated with a degree from an American university,” Adams said. “There is much work that remains over the next year to ensure a successful start in September 2007. However, gaining the approval of the Canadian authorities is a significant milestone. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver is a giant step closer to a reality.”
Selection of Vancouver
According to Dr. Christopher Capuano, chair of the Vancouver Academic Steering Committee and director of the School of Psychology, Metropolitan Campus, Teaneck, NJ, “Vancouver was selected for a variety of reasons. First, basing a campus outside the U.S. is consistent with the University’s global mission. With its location close to the U.S. and on the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is well positioned to attract international students, particularly those from Asian countries. Moreover, British Columbia, like other provinces in Canada, is very well known for its commitment to quality higher education.”
“Vancouver is also attractive economically,” said Sheldon Drucker, senior vice president and chief financial officer. “The cost of living is lower than in most major U.S. cities. It is less costly to provide programs, less costly to provide benefits for workers and less costly for students to study and live. In addition, it is less difficult for many international students to obtain a visa to study in Canada than it is in the U.S.,” said Drucker.
Programs and Location
The business management program will be administered by the appropriate departments in the Silberman College of Business and follow the guidelines of the college’s accrediting body, AACSB International-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The Gildart Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering in University College: Arts•Sciences•Professional Studies will administer the information technology program.
Potential locations for the campus have been reviewed and several properties have been identified that afford ample academic and support space along with convenient access to public transportation, shopping and dining establishments.
In February of 2005, FDU President J. Michael Adams and Dr. Christopher Capuano met with senior administrators at the two largest British Columbian higher-education institutions, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, both in Vancouver, to inform them of FDU’s plan to open a branch campus and to establish a collaborative relationship. Adams said both institutions reacted very positively. “They do not view FDU as a direct competitor and they embrace our mission to prepare global citizens,” he said.
FDU is looking into the possibility of gaining access to the British Columbia Electronic Library Network for its students and faculty in Vancouver. This extensive library system pools all the online resources of British Columbia university libraries. "This province-wide network of shared online library resources would provide our students with a key element of program support, in addition to FDU’s online library which students will also have access to,” Capuano said. The University also plans to contract with a local university library so students can access traditional library facilities as well.
Carl Viola, executive vice president, said, “Building on Fairleigh Dickinson’s long relationship with Berlitz and its ELS Language Centers, the University is collaborating with the ELS Center in Vancouver. The Center will assist in the recruitment of students and help support students recruited by the University who need additional work in oral and written English. The ELS director in Vancouver has also been assisting the University in its efforts to identify the best location for the campus.”
“From a technological perspective,” said Neal Sturm, FDU associate vice president and chief information officer, “we hope to offer many of the same services in Vancouver as on our main campuses in New Jersey. The proposal calls for a main computer laboratory with networked personal computers and shared printers. There are plans for a supplemental computer lab, which can double as an academic classroom, and a special high-end computer science lab. All classrooms will be wired for faculty computer use, and some will be equipped with data projectors. There will be wireless in some locations and a library resource center with a cluster of five computers for students and faculty to use. All students and staff will have Webmail accounts and access to technical support.”
About Fairleigh Dickinson University
Founded in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University is the largest private university in New Jersey. It is coeducational, private, independent, and nonsectarian. The University Web site, at http://www.fdu.edu, is a rich source of information.
With the addition of Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver, the University will have four locations. The Metropolitan Campus is 10 miles from New York City in Teaneck, N.J.; The College at Florham is 35 miles west of New York City in Madison, N.J.; FDU’s Wroxton College, in the Cotswold Hills of England, is between Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon. In addition, FDU provides programs in more than 50 off-campus locations throughout New Jersey, particularly in areas underserved by other colleges and universities.
In the fall of 2005, enrollment at the University was 11,757 (8,366 undergraduate, 3,391 graduate). More than 950 international students represent 74 countries.
Fairleigh Dickinson University is the first traditional university in the world to require every undergraduate to take one online course per year. The program features online study with Global Virtual Faculty™ — a cadre of distinguished scholars and professionals from around the world. FDU is the first American university to own an overseas campus in England: Wroxton College. A nongovernmental organization associated with the United Nations, FDU students and faculty enjoy special access to U.N. resources, people and programs.
Academically, the University offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s-level and doctoral programs. Honors programs are offered in all majors. Accelerated degree programs allow students to complete the undergraduate and master’s degrees in five years in areas that include business, accounting, psychology, education and public administration.