Newswise — Red Raiders have arrived in Costa Rica, ready to cut the ribbon on the university’s first international campus, Texas Tech University at Costa Rica (TTU-CR), located in the capital city of San Jose. The ribbon cutting is one more step in the university’s efforts to increase its global presence.

“We are very pleased to inaugurate Texas Tech University’s first international campus,” said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. “This process has involved the diligence, hard work and resources of many dedicated people in Costa Rica and Lubbock, all of whom recognized an opportunity to enhance the educational opportunities for students in both countries.

“This would not be possible without the support of our Board of Regents and the Texas Tech University System, and the vision of supporters in Costa Rica and John Keith, executive president of Banco Promerica, in particular. This is a historic day for Texas Tech University that reflects the continual evolution of our university as an institution of world-class status and will provide greater access to the quality of a Texas Tech education for students in Costa Rica and Central America.”

Schovanec arrived in San Jose today with Provost Michael Galyean, Chief Financial Officer Noel Sloan, Vice Provost for International Affairs Sukant Misra, TTU-CR Program Director Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan and Assistant General Counsel John Shelton. This visit gives them each an opportunity to see the result of the efforts that made TTU-CR a reality.

“At the Texas Tech University System we say, ‘From Here, It’s Possible,’” Duncan said. “We are excited ‘here’ now includes Costa Rica. We have a vision for advancing higher education on a global scale, and today’s ribbon cutting is a major step forward in that vision. I look forward to how Texas Tech University at Costa Rica will enhance opportunities for our Costa Rican Red Raiders as well as the students of our flagship campus.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony, available for viewing via livestream, will begin at 10:45 a.m. (9:45 a.m. Costa Rican time) Thursday (May 10) and will include remarks from Schovanec, Duncan, U.S. Ambassador Sharon Day, Banco Promerica Executive President John Keith and Jorge Sequeira, managing director of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency.

The ceremony will be preceded by an educational forum discussion, “Disruptive Trends in Learning and Jobs of the Future,” moderated by Sequeira and including Schovanec; Daryl Ellis, National Instruments senior group manager; and Dennis Whitelaw, Marriott Hotels area general manager.


Bringing Texas Tech to Costa Rica

After two years of planning, Schovanec announced the establishment of the Costa Rican campus in August 2016 through a partnership with EDULINK, a subsidiary of Promerica Group, a highly reputable, multinational conglomerate of companies operating in many Latin American countries. Just two months later, in October, the university officially broke ground in San Jose.

The location of TTU-CR means it is easily accessible from Texas while also being at the gateway to the rest of Latin America. The area is home to more than 250 high-tech multinational companies and its educational system is one of the best in Latin America.

“Awareness of the benefits of the internationalization of higher education across borders is growing worldwide and the Central American region is experiencing a demand for a highly qualified workforce that can meet the needs of an increasing dynamic presence of high-tech industries and advanced manufacturing,” said Jack Bimrose, EDULINK director of TTU-CR. “The strategic development of Costa Rica and the region is related to strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs for which the demand exceeds the supply. We believe that a Texas Tech presence can be a game-changer in Costa Rica. If the program is as successful as we think it will be, it can be the start of a global outreach for the university.”

In November 2017, the university received approval to include TTU-CR as an off-site campus in the university’s accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional accreditation body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the U.S., Latin America and other approved international sites. Once classes begin in August, a formal site visit by a SACSCOC team will finalize the approval.

Accreditation will allow the transfer of courses and degrees to other colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. TTU-CR degree programs will include electrical, industrial and computer engineering; mathematics and computer science; and restaurant, hotel and institutional management, offered through the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Hospitality & Retail Management within the College of Human Sciences. All classes will be taught in English.

“With Texas Tech programs in Costa Rica, we hope to promote leadership with international vision and the integration of the region into a global context,” Bimrose said. “Education is valued overseas, and U.S.-brand education is highly regarded worldwide for its quality. The Texas Tech campus in Costa Rica is intended to make U.S. higher education available and affordable to students in a region with limited access to university opportunities in the U.S. and overseas. It also will create a pathway for Costa Rican and Central American students to study in the U.S. and at other world universities.” 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is the completion of the first phase of TTU-CR, which includes classrooms, laboratories, a library and media center, administrative offices, an amphitheater and student services. It’s just the beginning of a mission and vision to offer students high-quality academic programs aligned to strategic development goals of Costa Rica and the Central American region, Bimrose said.

“Great things start small,” Bimrose added. “We believe this is just the beginning of great things to come.”

Applications are now open for fall 2018. For more information, visit the TTU-CR website.

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