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U Asia Campus Welcomes Record-breaking Number of Students

For the spring 2024 semester, the campus in South Korea welcomed 87 new students — a 20% increase in new enrollment from last year.
Brenda Payan Medina
(Design by Brenda Payan Medina | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


The University of Utah Asia Campus saw a record-breaking number of student enrollments for spring 2024 as the campus gears up for its 10-year anniversary. 

The UAC, located in Incheon, South Korea, welcomed 87 new students this semester, marking a 20% increase from the previous year, with close to 620 students studying at the campus overall.

Greg Hill, chief administrative officer and dean of faculty at the U Asia Campus said the UAC is seeing growing enrollment from full-time students and from its learning abroad program.

Our marketing and communications teams have taken a measured and proactive approach to raising the visibility of the Asia Campus in Korea and Southeast Asia, as well as actively promoting UAC on the Salt Lake campus,” he said in an email interview.

Students can spend anywhere from a single semester to three years at the UAC. All students going to the Asia campus full-time are required to spend one year at the Salt Lake City campus. When the UAC opened in 2014, it had 14 students studying at the location. Ten years later, Hill said nearly 800 students study between Incheon and Salt Lake, and now they are looking to partner with Korean and U.S. businesses.

“Our facilities have grown, our reputation in Korea is strong and our growth trajectory is continuing to trend upward,” Hill said.

The UAC is part of the Incheon Global Campus. Backed by a $1 billion investment from the Korean government, the IGC is an education hub of extended campuses from four foreign universities with plans to be home to 10 college campuses in the near future.

The UAC partners with the Incheon city government to provide wider access to education to the city’s residents.

“We work with local schools, helping teach English, and we host community events to help bridge cultural divides,” Hill said. “… They are gracious hosts and we are always happy to partner with them.”

Hill added the UAC also works with Korean start-up companies preparing for globalization.

The campus now offers nine majors and five minors for undergraduate degrees.

The U recently expanded its gaming program to Incheon. This year, the Princeton Review ranked the U’s Games Division first internationally for its undergraduate program and second for its graduate program.

According to the U Magazine, South Korea has the most gamers per capita globally. Hill said the U’s gaming program and the interest in Korea are the main reasons for the UAC’s increase in student enrollment.

The strength of this degree combined with the high level of interest in Korea around gaming gives us a unique window of opportunity,” he said.

The UAC will also be introducing a Masters of Communication program in the fall 2024 semester. Hill said he expects a continued balance between graduate and undergraduate programs at the Asia campus over the next ten years.

Hill said the campus has a “two-factored approach” to maintain enrollment growth. The first is determining what programs attract students in Korea and other regions of Asia. The second is a focus on recruiting students in the U.S.

“We feel like this market will continue to grow as the world’s interest in Korea grows, and we intend to give potential students from all over the U.S. an opportunity to know what the UAC has to offer,” he said.

The Asia campus operates on what Hill called a “two campuses, one University of Utah experience” model. He said this model helps the UAC stand out from other international campuses.

“Our ability to stay connected with the Salt Lake campus strengthens our programs on the Asia Campus. … The programs we offer have achieved great recognition and acclaim on the Salt Lake campus, and our students can feel that,” he said.

Rick Batchelor, associate director of Learning Abroad told the U Magazine students who study abroad are more likely to graduate, secure employment post-graduation and report higher enjoyment with their college experience. 

Hill said the UAC has over a 90% graduation rate, with many students starting careers in their chosen fields.

“Since our students experience both Korea and the U.S. while completing their degrees, we believe they are equipped with a greater understanding and appreciation of global culture which translates to higher success in pursuing their desired career,” he said.

With the campus’s continued growth, Hill said the administration at the UAC is looking to create off-campus housing to accommodate in the coming years.

The UAC will have a celebration at the end of September to commemorate its 10th anniversary. The three-day event includes tours, cultural activities and community celebrations. The event will end with a 10th anniversary gala on Sept. 28.


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About the Contributors
Giovanni Radtke
Giovanni Radtke, Assistant News Editor
Giovanni Radtke is a junior at the U with an associate degree in journalism and digital media from Salt Lake Community College. He is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism. Giovanni is a self-proclaimed cinephile who loves traveling and reading history books.
Brenda Payan Medina
Brenda Payan Medina, Copy Director, Design Contributor
Brenda is a rising senior close to finishing her materials science and engineering degree. She has spent most of her life in Utah, and enjoys editing for the Chronicle because she gets to learn about different events and people within the community that she would not otherwise have known about.

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