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U21 plans first global education offering
An M.B.A. program aimed at Asian market to begin in fall

By Matt Kelly

Universitas 21, an international-education consortium of 17 universities formed to pursue education projects larger than any one university could manage alone, will hold its annual meeting at U.Va. on May 5 and 6.

The University, which joined U21 in 2001 and is currently its only U.S. member, will host presidents and vice chancellors from universities in Asia, Canada and Europe, according to law professor and former provost Peter W. Low. He and U.Va. President John T. Casteen III represent U.Va. on U21’s governing board.

With Thomson Learning, U21 has formed U21global, an Internet university, to offer graduate courses targeted primarily at Asia. Low expects U21global to start enrolling students this fall for its first offering, an M.B.A. degree program taught in English. U21pedagogica, created to review and approve the course offerings, is examining the program now, and Low expects approval before fall.

At the May meeting — closed to the public — educators expect to discuss potential programs in the U.S., Canada and the Asian/Pacific area, student exchanges and research collaboration among member schools, benchmarking and budget issues. Low said the members would also discuss increasing membership over the next two to three years.

Casteen and Robert D. Sweeney, senior vice president for development and public affairs, will also discuss fund raising with U21 members. Many of the member universities have had little experience in raising private money, Low said.

Low estimated that about 35 people from 15 of the 17 member institutions would attend the annual meeting.

Two Chinese universities have indicated that they will not send delegations.

In addition to the business meetings, there will be a reception Sunday night at the president’s residence at Carr’s Hill, a tour of Monticello followed by dinner at Kenwood on Monday, a tour of U.Va.’s Special Collections and dinner at the Farmington Country Club on Tuesday and, for those still in town on Wednesday, a tour of Colonial Williamsburg.


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