UH to start Singapore program
The degree in travel industry management will be offered in 2009
The University of Hawaii at Manoa will offer an undergraduate degree in travel industry management in Singapore -- a move that could help build UH-Manoa as a brand name in international education.
The university would open what would essentially be a satellite TIM campus at Temasec Polytechnic, a community college on the resort area of Sentosa island, said Walter Jamieson, dean of the School of Travel Industry Management at UH-Manoa.
The Singaporean government is offering UH-Manoa $1 million -- a $500,000 grant and a $500,000 loan -- to start the program, Jamieson said.
UH-Manoa, the Singaporean government and Temasec Polytechnic are betting that the school will attract students from Asia and around the world to Singapore and turn a profit.
"They (Singapore) want to be the schoolhouse of Asia because they see this as an export," Jamieson said. "They see this as a way of making money."
It is the first time UH-Manoa will offer an undergraduate degree overseas.
"If this model works, we have other programs on this campus that could definitely position ourselves this way," Jamieson said.
The final details of the contract are still being worked out, but Jamieson expects an agreement will be signed soon. The school expects to open offices in Singapore next year and accept its first class of students in January 2009.
Neal Smatresk, vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the deal is "win-win-win" for Hawaii, Singapore and the region.
It will provide trained employees for the rapidly growing tourism industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia and help UH-Manoa build its brand and attract students to Hawaii.
The Shidler College of Business at UH-Manoa already offers an executive Master's of Business Administration program in Hanoi.
Business Dean Vance Roley said an international focus is a key part of the college's strategy to become one of the top public business colleges in the United States.
"We feel like Hawaii has unique advantages because of the culture here," Roley said.
This fall, the business college will expand its executive MBA program in Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City, Roley said.
The college also has an agreement with Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China, to offer a two-year MBA degree from UH-Manoa that will also start up this fall. The program will allow students from China to attend UH-Manoa for a year and UH-Manoa students to go to school at Sun Yat Sen University.
Negotiations to offer a UH-Manoa degree in Singapore started about two years ago when Singapore approached the university because of the reputation of the TIM school, Jamieson said.
Jamieson emphasized that the degree awarded in Singapore would have the same requirements as a Manoa degree. "There's no distinction between the quality of education," he said.
Students would also be able to intern in the hotels and tourist industry businesses around the school, similar to internships offered by the TIM school at Waikiki hotels.
Officials are hoping for 35 students a year but could accept double that. The Singaporean government will subsidize local students, and the business plan for the school calls for at least half the students to come from overseas.