A record high 1,892 international students are currently enrolled in microcampus dual-degree programs at the University of Arizona, an increase of 400 over last year. Indeed, Fall 2021 marks UArizona’s largest enrollment of international students ever, at over 5,400 students—despite the pandemic.
“These numbers reflect a coordinated and holistic approach to global education that was a pillar of the university’s strategic plan long before COVID,” says UArizona Vice President for Global Affairs and Dean of Global Education Brent White. “This approach involves meeting students wherever they are and providing opportunities to earn University of Arizona degree in their home country, at the main campus in Tucson, online or any combination of the three.”
In dual-degree programs, students can earn dual degrees from UArizona and a partner university. This innovative model allows students to complete a U.S.-accredited degree at a campus convenient to them. The University of Arizona now has 13 microcampus locations worldwide, with respected partner universities in 11 different countries offering 37 different undergraduate and graduate dual-degree combinations.
UArizona and the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture have partnered with top-ranked La Universidad Peruana de Ciencia Aplicadas (UPC) in Lima, Peru to offer the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments (SBE) as part of the dual-degree microcampus program. The SBE’s innovative curriculum allows CAPLA to bridge the degree with UPC’s Bachelor of Architecture so that students in Peru start with the architecture program, add SBE courses beginning in their third year and graduate with both degrees. Qualified students may then move into CAPLA’s Master of Science in Architecture program for a graduate degree.
Students in the dual-degree programs in the microcampus network learn from UArizona professors, gain access to UArizona resources and can spend a semester on the main campus in Tucson as part of their degree program through the Study Arizona experience. This semester, for example, 10 UPC students studied in Tucson as part of the SBE program.
Silvana Lucia Sosaya Moreno is one of those students. She is pursuing a dual degree in sustainable architecture by combining UPC’s B.Arch with CAPLA’s BS SBE. Moreno says the diversity and cultural exchange among students and professors has been a highlight of her experience, with university faculty and friends from all over the U.S. and around the world making her feel welcome.
“What I value most about being here is that it has allowed me to do more research than what I am used to, as well as the opportunity to understand another culture and to adapt to a new teaching methodology,” says Moreno. “I am gaining a broader perspective of what I can do as a professional.”
Moreno was drawn to CAPLA’s offerings focused on sustainability. “I believe in sustainability as an important value, especially for architecture,” she says. “In Peru, these types of programs are just starting to develop or do not exist. The research I have made these years in the program, my knowledge, as well as the opportunities that have been presented to me, make me believe that there is hope for a better future in construction—and I am glad I can be a part of it for the planet and for my country.”
When she returns to Peru in the spring, Moreno plans to continue developing the personal connections she has made and build upon the skills she is learning at UArizona.
Learn more about CAPLA’s partnership with UPC Lima for the microcampus program in sustainable built environments or view information about the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments, offered on campus, online and at the UPC Lima microcampus.
A longer version of this story, written by Kelly Adams Keller, Arizona Global, originally appeared in Arizona News: "UArizona Sets Record for International Student Enrollment."