USC to open Songdo campus

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USC to open Songdo campus

The University of Southern California will open a branch of its engineering college at a new higher-education site under construction in Incheon, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday.

The prestigious U.S. school signed an agreement with the ministry and Incheon city government to open its first Korean location in 2012 at the Songdo Global University Campus. The site is located within the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

The campus will initially accommodate about 500 students in 2012, the ministry said.

USC, which took the 27th spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of American colleges last year, is the fifth foreign school that has cemented plans to open a branch in the Songdo campus. The other four schools are all American as well: the State University of New York at Stony Brook, North Carolina State University, Delaware State University and George Mason University.

The 295,000-square-meter (73-acre) Songdo campus is being built specifically to host foreign colleges as part of a larger effort to attract foreign investors. Under the plan, the government and private investors will funnel 1.07 trillion won ($931.7 million) into building up the university cluster by 2012, the ministry said. The site will have the capacity to host 10 foreign universities and 20,000 students.

The ministry said North Carolina State University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook will be able to open their Songdo campuses as early as September of this year.

The ministry said it is also talking with some other universities.

“We are close to signing an agreement with the University of Missouri and the University of Surrey in the U.K.” said Je Gyeong-hee, a ministry official.

By Moon Gwang-lip []

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