Construction on a new Arkansas State University campus in Mexico will begin in early February, the university's chancellor said in a statement Thursday.
The $50-million campus will be in Queretaro — a city with a 1.9 million population — and construction is set to begin Feb. 5, ASU Chancellor Tim Hudson said. Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto is expected to speak at its project launch, according to Hudson.
The campus is scheduled to open in fall 2015, the news release states.
The campus will introduce a "living learning" community and has about 200 acres set aside for it, according to the release. A private business foundation called Association for the Advancement of Mexican Education purchased about 2,000 acres for a land development project near Queretaro. The ASU-Mexico campus will be the main attraction in the project, the release states.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better location in Mexico to establish this campus,” Hudson said. “More than 800 international companies have chosen Queretaro for operations, and we look forward to building relationships that will lead to jobs, international internships, and research projects for faculty and students.”
Start-up costs will be funded through university private gifts and the foundation will supplement any operating deficits for up to three years after courses begin, the release states. A first-year enrollment target of 1,000 students has been set for the campus, which is being designed to accommodate 5,000 students.
ASU faculty will be able to teach and conduct research at the Queretaro campus, and students will have the opportunity to study there, university officials said.
Courses will be taught in English and the academic programs offered are being evaluated for accreditation by Mexico's education ministry.