San José, Costa Rica, October 24th, 2016. The construction of the first Latin American campus of Texas Tech University (TTU), located in Costa Rica, started this morning with a ground breaking ceremony. This satellite campus will start operating in 2018, in Avenida Escazu.
In August, TTU authorities announced the partnership with EDULINK S.A., part of Promerica Group to establish the first Latin American campus of this prestigious university in the country.
"We are delighted that the prestigious Texas Tech University selected Costa Rica as the site to open a campus for students from the region. This represents a recognition of the political and economic stability of the country and its strong reputation in the field of education, with prestigious academic centers with national and international recognition. It is also one of the objectives of the international work tours and contacts that we pursue in order to attract investments that create jobs. During our visit to Texas, in May 2015, in the meeting we had with the authorities of this university, we highlighted the conditions of Costa Rica for a center of this type. We are sure this will be the beginning of a relationship of mutual convenience, from which the students will benefit," said Luis Guillermo Solis, President of Costa Rica.
For Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade, the ground breaking of this project marks an important milestone for the competitiveness of Costa Rica. "Our country is in a process of structural transformation of its economy, moving rapidly towards increasingly sophisticated activities, with high technological, scientific and innovative content. This process has opened gaps between the demands in the market and installed capacity of academic offerings and training of relevant skills. The establishment of Texas Tech University in Costa Rica responds to this reality and at the same time, is a tool for managing the corresponding transformations of higher education. That is why, with great pride, we celebrate the beginning of the phase of materialization of this project we have accompanied from an early stage and we hope to be operating by 2018, the date on which we will meet again to celebrate its opening."
"The partnership that has led to the development of a Texas Tech campus in Costa Rica is a unique moment in the history of our institution. The academic programs of high quality that will be offered on the campus of Costa Rica will directly benefit students in Central and Latin America, while simultaneously expanding the footprint and academic influence of Texas Tech on the world stage, "said Mike Galyean, Provost of TTU.
John Keith, Executive Chairman of Promerica Group, said "in the Promerica Group, we believe that the future of Costa Rica and Central America requires vision, leadership and skills of the 21st century, in order to bring our region to the next level of development. The TTU campus in Costa Rica will be a catalyst for progress, development and innovation. We are proud to be their partners".
The initiative was supported by the Government of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), and is an important step in expanding high quality academic offerings in the region and training of qualified professionals in the areas of higher labor demand.
Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, said "This is a great opportunity to position Costa Rica in the eyes of the academy worldwide. The arrival of Texas Tech will also help strengthen private sector partnerships with the academic sector in the country. The University has acknowledged its interest to work together with the local academy and actively participate in future projects. CINDE has a very open dialogue channel with the University to benefit from the presence and knowledge of their teachers in order to develop content that will strengthen our labor market and the preparation of the Costa Rican human resource ".
It is estimated that the first phase of construction of this center of higher education, which includes a complex of locations designed in three phases, will be ready by December 2017, with 3321 m2 of construction for university purposes. It is expected to inaugurate TTU educational programs in Costa Rica (TTU-CR) by the first quarter of 2018.
This phase includes classrooms, laboratories, library and computer center, administrative offices, an amphitheater and other student services, integrated into the existing community of Avenida Escazu.
"Our campus in Costa Rica supports the efforts of internationalization of Texas Tech and advances our reputation and competitive position preparing our graduates to live and work in different cultures," said Dr. Lawrence Schovanec, President at TTU.
The first phase represents an initial investment of more than $ 15 million. Subsequently, it will be self-sufficient through revenues generated by student fees and other incomes that will be managed by Grupo Promerica.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by special delegation of authorities from TTU, CINDE and private institutions representatives. Government and US Embassy officials also participated during the event, as part of their key role in the negotiation process for the establishment of this partnership of bilateral cooperation.
"The laying of the foundation stone of the Texas Tech University campus in Costa Rica is a very important milestone and allows the US education to be more accessible for Costa Ricans. The US Embassy in San Jose has worked closely with TTU, which supports the regional initiative '100 thousand in the Americas' of President Obama, which aims to increase academic exchanges, enhance regional education, cooperation and competitiveness. I congratulate the representatives of Texas Tech University and wish them much success in this pioneering effort," said Robin Matthewman, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Costa Rica.
High-level academic offers.
TTU was founded in 1923 in Lubbock, Texas and is currently ranked 168 nationally and 91 among public universities according to US News & World Report 2016. In addition, the university has over 36,000 students, five regional sites in Abilene, Amarillo, Fredericksburg, Higland Lakes and Juction, as well as a campus in Spain.
"Our flagship institution was founded with a vision to think globally, and the opening of the campus in Costa Rica strengthens the mission of preparing future global leaders and enriching cultures around the world," said Robert Duncan, Chancellor of Texas Tech University System.
This campus in Costa Rica will have the capacity to receive approximately 1300 students and will have a teaching faculty composed of a combination of teachers from TTU´s primary campus in Lubbock, Texas, as well as local teachers who meet the high standards of TTU.
Within the initial academic offerings, those who pass the entry requirements and have fluency in English, will be able to opt for a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics; Hotel, Restaurants and Institutions Management, Dual Bachelors in Computer Science and Mathematics; Postgraduate Certificate in Restaurants, Hotels and Institutions Management, and Postgraduate Certificate in "Essentials of Business".
All courses will be taught in English and the degrees were selected taking into account the studies of CINDE, on the main needs of the regional market.
In the future, is also projected the possibility of teaching a Bachelor in International Economics, a Master in Science in Hotel Management and an Executive MBA.
Students from TTU-CR may participate in exchanges, international cooperation programs, internships and research, and will be able to take part of their studies abroad.
The programs will be credited by recognized authorities in the United States, as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc (ABET), the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPCHA), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).
Preparations are underway for compliance with the requirements of laws and permits in Costa Rica, including the recognition of the Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP) and the Consejo Nacional de Educación Universitaria Privada (CONESUP).
At an administrative level, being an alliance, TTU will have academic affairs and student services under its control, according to the University´s academic excellence standards and subject to its supervision. Meanwhile, EDULINK S.A. will be the owner, responsible for the management and operation of facilities and administration of TTU-CR.
"In a global community, internationalization of education across borders is the new frontier. The global reach of Texas Tech University in Costa Rica has the potential to make a difference in Central America and beyond. The TTU degrees and programs are valued and admired throughout the world and we believe that TTU-CR may be an important factor of change in the lives of students, families, communities, our country and our region, "concluded Jack Bimrose, Director of TTU-CR.
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