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UNLV considers closing Singapore campus

UNLV may shutter its campus in Singapore after officials couldn’t renegotiate an agreement with a local technology institute, the campus’s managing director said Monday.

“We may pull out of Singapore,” said the director, Richard Linstrom.

The campus opened in 2006 as a branch of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. It is a self-funded endeavor, meaning it receives no money from UNLV or Nevada taxpayers.

If UNLV does pull out of Singapore, Linstrom said it would not be until current and future students are finished with their degree program. He said there will be at least one final incoming class this fall.

“We’re fully committed to those students,” he said.

The university opened the campus after the government gave the OK for its first casino resort. The goal was to expand UNLV’s brand and take advantage of a growing market.

Linstrom said the university has an agreement with the Singapore Institute of Technology, a government-funded higher education endeavor. SIT sends recent high school graduates to UNLV’s campus. He said nearly all of the campus’ 600-plus students come through SIT.

But he said UNLV wanted to renegotiate the agreement that runs through the end of 2015. The university wants to require students to spend more than the now-required five weeks on UNLV’s Las Vegas campus, and it wants to increase tuition by about 20 percent for nonresident students and more than double it for local students.

He said the students’ tuition is highly subsidized by the government there.

The general plan was to make UNLV’s campus in Singapore smaller but more elite, he said. That goes along with long-range goals for UNLV as a whole.

If UNLV does close the Singapore campus, Linstrom said, the university would need to decide whether it wants to remain in Asia over the long term, perhaps in Hong Kong or Macau.

The campus employs 22 people full time, including five faculty members.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307.

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