NYTimes has a story on the UAE operations of the New York University at Abu Dhabi. The academic program has started, and it has 150 students and 45 faculty. Operations will move to a new campus in three years, and student strength will grow to about 2200 in ten years. What caught my attention, however, is the financing of NYU's "outpost" in the Middle East -- and this is worth keeping in mind when the business papers peddle stories about how top universities are keen to start a branch campus in India.
The financing of N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi is noteworthy. The college is being entirely paid for by Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest of the United Arab Emirates, which has so far provided generously, including financial aid for many students and a promise to build a sprawling campus on nearby Saadiyat Island, where branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums are under construction. [...]
“There is a lot of money sloshing around, and that has helped recruit faculty support,” he says. A faculty member could expect to earn a large bonus — in some cases the equivalent of two-thirds of a year’s salary, Mr. Ross says — and “on top of that there are first-class tickets to go over there, your family can go with you, your children can go to private schools for free.”
Officials won’t say what kind of deal they have with the royal family, which gave N.Y.U. $50 million before the project ever got off the ground. Beyond that, Mr. Sexton will say only that a yearly budget is discussed (he says he has never been “disappointed”) and a 10-year plan exists. The new campus is supposed to open in 2014.