The Euro Disney Approach to Education

Barry Lenson

The Euro Disney Approach to Education

After years of trying, it looks like Disneyland Paris, the French version of a Disney theme park, has finally gotten stabilized and is attracting visitors.  The question is, how long will it take for foreign versions of American universities to put down roots and become part of the landscape in the countries where they are located?

Here are some U.S. universities that have branches abroad . . .

  • New York University has opened a large second campus in Abu Dhabi and is reportedly planning something similar in China.
  • Duke University is operating a medical school in Singapore.
  • Northwestern University is soon to open a campus in Qatar.

It all makes sense – at least on an operational level. If a college is already attracting a lot of students from a particular region of the world, why not set up a campus there? It makes it easier to recruit students. It also eliminates a lot of immigration problems for potential students and can increase revenues.

But despite the good sense behind it all, a recent article on the Huffington Post reports that a growing number of colleges are scrapping plans for building foreign campuses. According to the article, both George Mason University and Michigan State have both closed campuses in the Middle East and moved back home, and other American schools are abandoning plans to set up campuses abroad.

Yet for tens of thousands of students around the world, the dream of earning a degree from an American college or university remains very strong. How can they be served?

The obvious answer to that question is, they can be served by distance learning. When a student who does not live in the United States wants to study at an American college and earn an American degree, he or she can simply take online courses at an American school. Doing so can eliminate many of the obstacles to attending college in America. There is no need to move to America for four years. There is less disruption in the student’s life, and no need to leave a job or family behind in order to attend college in America. Also, there is no need to pay for transportation to and from America or to pay rent here, or pay for college room and board.  And the student can even exercise the option of starting college online, then transferring to a regular American college or university.

So even though Mickey and Minnie Mouse moved to Paris to live on-site, there is no need for you to relocate if you want to study in America. Computer learning can be your key to a brighter educational future, and to a degree from an American college.

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