UCC Global partners with the University of Arizona to deliver Undergraduate & Graduate Degrees across the Commonwealth

May 12, 2021 – The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean/UCC Global Campus, Jamaica, West Indies, is pleased to announce its latest Global partnership with the University of Arizona, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona.

This exclusive regional agreement (non-exclusive across the wider Commonwealth) makes it possible for students across the Caribbean – approximately twenty countries including Jamaica –  to pursue proposed dual or UArizona stand-alone bachelor’s and master’s degrees from either the UArizona or both of these highly reputable and institutionally accredited higher education institutions, without leaving their country.

UCC’s Founder & Group Executive Chairman, Dr Winston Adams, noted that “the University was once again breaking new frontiers & boundaries, as an entrepreneurial pacesetter in developing and implementing such an imaginative transnational higher education partnership, including projected arrangements for team-teaching and collaborative research”. “It’s all about what’s possible and what lies just beyond the imagination”. “Like the UArizona, we pride ourselves on spurring disruptive innovation, creating new opportunities, igniting success and making a meaningful impact in people’s lives”     

The new partnership with the UCC Global Campus, ultimately also encompassing the wider Commonwealth region, to explore in the future, countries in Africa and South East Asia, will add to the rapidly growing University of Arizona Microcampus Network, with some 650+ locations worldwide.

“Not only does an Arizona Microcampus location help solve the mobility challenges of today caused by COVID-19, it is a meaningful and long-term effort at meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal of providing accessible quality education to the world,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins.

The University of Arizona is ranked in the Top 100 Best Global Universities by U.S. News and World Report, and is among the Top 1% of 20,000+ Universities Worldwide, according to the Center for World University.

With an estimated 400 million people in developing countries lacking access to higher education, U.S. universities seeking to internationalize have only scratched the surface of the opportunities to help meet the world’s need for affordable, globally accessible and high-quality education.  A few U.S. & UK universities have set up international branch campuses, including at least four at the UCC’s main campus itself, since 2000.

Currently, most students from other countries who want to earn a U.S. degree must still migrate to the U.S. to do so.

It is estimated that at least 5,000 Jamaicans traditionally migrate each year to study in the U.S. However, the current pandemic has changed the landscape. Most potential Jamaican and Caribbean high school graduates and other Caribbean nationals who would have set their sights on migrating to the U.S. this year to pursue an international U.S. degree clearly will be unable to do so, and must therefore remain at home. 

Moreover, the cost of a U.S. education vastly exceeds per capita income in the majority of developing countries, and most U.S. universities offer limited scholarships to international students, generally expecting them to pay full tuition. The advantages of a U.S. education have often been reserved for a “global elite,” and for the vast majority of the developing world, a U.S. education has not been in the realm of possibility.

Answering the call to provide greater access to a top U.S. education, the University of Arizona (UArizona) has developed a new model for transnational education through the UArizona Microcampus Network.

“The events that caused the current situation in international education have hastened the dawn of a post-mobility world in which physical travel is unnecessary for the creation and transmission of knowledge across borders,” said Brent White, vice provost of global affairs at UArizona.

“Almost overnight, courses have transitioned to online, and international students are continuing to study safely and affordably while remaining at home in their own countries. We want to help them achieve their dreams of a U.S. degree, no matter the circumstances.”

A regional network of Microcampuses

As a University of Arizona Microcampus Location, UCC will leverage the latest technology to deliver cutting-edge education to high school graduates and working adults online, or in a blended delivery format, on a full-time or part-time basis, throughout Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region, while preserving an in-class, on-campus experience.

Moreover, this new University of the Commonwealth Caribbean/University of Arizona partnership will engage select UCC international online & local faculty and UArizona faculty, who will develop and deliver the anticipated dual-degree or stand alone degree programs together, co-teaching courses online and onsite in the Caribbean. Students will be able to take UCC courses at the same time they take UArizona courses, allowing for fully integrated dual-degree programs.

Unlike studying abroad or taking traditional courses at home, this collaborative approach to program development and teaching will also allow students in the Caribbean to learn about course materials situated in the local context of their home countries, and from an international perspective.

Because the significant cost-savings of the model will enable UArizona and UCC to set tuition at local market rates, this greatly increases access and affordability by eliminating the substantial costs of living abroad.

Annual tuition for recent high school graduates and working adults across the Caribbean for a proposed dual degree (i.e. two bachelor’s degrees or a bachelor’s and an accelerated master’s degree), which can be completed in only 4-5 years, could range between US$5,000 per annum to US$7,500/year for dual bachelor’s degrees, or US$9,000/year for a stand-alone degree, or US$12,000 for an entire 18-month stand-alone masters degree from the University of Arizona. The above subsidized tuition for a UArizona bachelor’s degree should be compared with the standard US$37,000 per annum for the exact same undergraduate degree offered on the main campus in Arizona – excluding other major costs such as accommodation, living expenses, travel, etc. that would also be incurred.

As a result of this unique model, the local & regional tuition for either dual degrees or stand-alone bachelor’s degrees will, therefore, only be a small fraction of the tuition in the U.S., as all students successfully admitted will be receiving a 45% – 55% UCC Foundation US Inc. tuition scholarship.

Sustainable internationalization

Beyond fostering top international education and even greater career competitiveness for graduates worldwide, this new innovative partnership will also act as a hub for joint faculty research in the Caribbean – a collaboration that will naturally extend from a teaching model that will cultivate close working relationships between the University of Arizona and the UCC faculty.

Additionally – as the model is financially self-sustaining – it will promote sustainable internationalization, providing a platform and physical location for faculty training and exchange, and other forms of engaged learning.

The model also enables mobility, as UCC Global Campus and UArizona Microcampus students in the Caribbean will be free to study at the Main Campus in Tucson, Arizona, for a summer or a semester, at the same local tuition rate during their program of study. Similarly, students at the University of Arizona will be able to earn part of their degree at any Arizona Microcampus location at the UCC throughout the Caribbean.

The program, for which entry is expected to be quite competitive, is scheduled to begin in Jamaica during September and November 2021, and in January 2022, and in other Caribbean islands, during November 2021 and January 2022.

The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean estimates that approximately 5,000 Caribbean students will initially be targeted for entry by the spring semester 2022.

Applications for Jamaican students will tentatively open on May 24, 2021 via the UCC/UCC Global Campus website. The first virtual information session is planned for June 1, 2021.

Date Published:
Wednesday, May 12, 2021