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British University Backs Out of Plans for California Campus

Concept may have been the most ambitious plan by a foreign university to build a branch campus in the U.S.

December 22, 2017
 

The University of Warwick has walked away from plans to develop a branch campus in California, putting an end to what was arguably the most ambitious plan by a foreign university to build a branch campus in the U.S. to date. The British university originally announced plans to build a 6,000-student campus on donated land outside Sacramento in early 2015.

Drexel University had previously retreated from plans to develop a campus on the same plot of land for what a spokeswoman described as financial reasons.

Warwick said in a statement that its University Council had concerns about the "evolving financial framework" for the campus and "some of the regulatory issues that would apply to a non-U.S.-based institution wishing to establish itself in California and other global political challenges."

The statement said that the council “concluded that what was now being considered had moved too far beyond the original vision of the project in terms of the nature, scale and timescale and that the university could no longer see a model going forward that would lead to the university being able to establish the originally envisioned fully comprehensive, research-led campus.”

Warwick's partner was a nonprofit organization, the University Development Foundation, which was going to provide land and funding for the campus. In the joint statement with Warwick, the foundation said it was "disappointed with Warwick’s decision, but optimistic about attracting another institution of higher learning to build and operate a new campus on its 600 acres of donated land in Placer County, Calif."

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