Sitting atop 2,500 acres in the peninsula that is Doha, Qatar, Education City lies as the home and ground of learning for  more than 1,000 college students. Founded by the local nonprofit program the Qatar Foundation, the modern international campus is a compilation of primary, secondary and higher education schools, some of which you might just recognize the name.

Take Northwestern University, for instance. The well-known Chicago university was one of six American universities invited to establish their name in the country, going by the title of Northwestern University-Qatar (NU-Q).

Three years later, the school has an 80-percent female population with an average of 40 students per class and offers undergraduate communication and journalism degrees.

NU-Q dean John Margolis said the majority of the population is female because cultural conditions often do not allow for females to earn an education overseas.

And NU-Q’s growth has only just begun — Margolis said over the next two years NU-Q will have facilities to rival anything in the world for journalism education, with future American students spending semesters at the Qatar campus.

Like Northwestern University, many American universities and colleges have made an effort to diversify their student body by taking advantage of America’s worldwide reputation for premier education and building additional campuses in countries across the entire globe. Though American universities have long advertised their schools overseas and developed foreign exchange programs to bring in international students for decades, taking their campuses to the international students boosts the process a step further.

Chicago schools, in particular, are taking their name to foreign countries in full force: aside from Northwestern University in Qatar, they have already established a University of Chicago in Singapore and a National-Louis University in Poland, to name a few.

Carol Aslanian, senior vice president of market research services at higher education student recruiting and retention company EducationDynamics, explained the reasoning behind this quickly-spreading trend.

She said American higher education is the best in the world, particularly in business, computer science, international relations, public policy, medicine and other graduate studies, and colleges can effectively expand enrollment by taking their courses to a global audience.

The plan is beneficial for foreign students and American schools, as the students earn quality education, the schools gain even more prestige and reputation in foreign countries, and both the students and colleges develop a cultural bond, Aslanian said.

University of Chicago Booth School of Business has instated a program that may be the wave of the future for American schools with international campuses: the executive MBA program, which is offered in London, Singapore and Chicago, requires that students rotate through all three of the campuses as part of the 21-month program.

Many college administrators had doubts about preserving the quality of international campus education, Aslanian said. But as with the triumph of the online education programs doubted by administrators, many prestigious universities have proven to be international campuses success stories — and Aslanian said that it is now hard to find an American school that doesn’t have a campus overseas.

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