As more and more universities and colleges seek out alleged fortunes overseas by setting up branch campuses, nagging questions linger about the financial stability of these ventures. We are being told by governments and employers alike that money is scarce after all. So surely our administrators are being careful about how they are spending their scarce resources? But a story in the obscure Durham Business News in Canada this week highlights the financial risks that institutions don’t always tell us when embarking on their overseas joint ventures.
According to the report, Oshawa’s Durham College is posting up big losses on branch campus projects with private partners in Panama and India. According to the report, the college admits it lost CA $500,000 on a campus in Bangalore, India. Not one student walked through the door. Ah, but that expensive lesson was forgotten almost immediately as the college went on to spend another half a million Canadian dollars on a campus in Panama. That campus did graduate a handful of students of least, but those students have sued the college. They’re claiming programs they had been promised weren’t delivered. The campus has now been closed and the college has terminated its entire international program.
The big question is how many other colleges and universities are throwing away money?