Will Art Center set up a "branch in Asia"?

All right, I am only using Art Center because it used to have a school in Europe.

So I should be asking, will western design schools begin to extend its reach to Asia directly as opposed to simply “luring” foreign students over?

I was talking to a friend about how certain European countries may lift the “free education for foreigners” benefit, and how expensive it will get for a foreigner to study in Europe.

I was also thinking about how much more difficult it will be for foreign students to go abroad to the west, so perhaps the best way is for well-established schools like Art-Center and other academies to set up “branches” in Asia to cater for Asian needs. Perhaps it’s not just Asia. I am only using it as a popular reference. It can be anywhere in the world.

Tertiary education is commercialized, so I don’t think this is impossible. However, will the “franchising” of such educational institution( not including vocational schools ) degrade it’s image and quality? How will it affect the job market? How will it affect the industry?

Perhaps we will see a mode of education that is independent of culture. Is this even possible?

It can also be a form of attraction to lure western students back to their own institutions, but on a foreign ground. Lot’s of business opportunities.

No matter what, I think the result will be unimaginable.

And by the way, I made this thread here because I think this topic reaches a scope much greater than just education.

I think many big name schools will think along these lines in starting up a branch in Asian Countries. It is profitable. You get top students and big money. In some not so good cases, you get not so good students and still get big money.Its already a known fact that education is business. Its a sad fact I think. But probably inevitable because schools like other establishments, need money to survive.

The ideal school is one of intellectual heaven where learning is for the pure sake of obtaining and discovering knowledge.

Well little off topic but I have a lot of ideals for education. But I also realise that education is not just education anymore. Education is ideal. Business isn’t about idealism, its about practicalism and materialism. When schools start to become businesses, thats where our shades of gray exist and the purity of learning is marred. There is a difference between studying for the pursuit of knowledge and humanity; and studying for the sake of becoming rich and well known. The motivation is different and the results are often different.

2 cents here and probably off topic…

libral arts= idealisim so is imune to the realities of the world, ID is a pratical blend of art and engineering hence has to be aware of the buisness world.

Education in this area of the world is very, very public/government based. And just like business it is very, very relationship based.

Many US and European universities have partnership programs with universities in Asia and it is helping both sides.

Just like consultants trying to set up in Asia, I think Art Center would really need to think about if they could successfully set up a satellite campus in Asia. At minimum they should develop a 10 year plan to do this.

From my understanding, there originally was a plan for an “Art Center (Asia)” over a decade ago. President and department chairs spent time in a few Japanese cities being wined and dined and incentivized by local politicians. Kyoto was a top contender, given its history of crafts and architecture. The idea floated around for a while, then it was scaled down from a full-service degree campus to a “certificate” provider – maybe some portfolio developing introductory classes, skills updates for practicing professionals and/or masters candidates exchanges.

A few reasons why the idea may have perished then:
• The lack of market understanding, failed strategy, mismanagement, and ultimate demise of Art Center (Europe) must not have been very encouraging
• Japan was not seen as a “neutral” place that could attract other Asians
• Korea/Samsung began courting Art Center around the same time (see above) and eventually collaborated on a school in Seoul
• The concern that quality standards could not be created, duplicated or maintained so far from the established Pasadena campus (see Art Center Europe)
• The fact that many Asian students are more interested in actually living in the West for a couple years than they are in getting a Western branded degree. Living in the West is part of the education
• A Western location can help justify the high costs of U.S. programs - harder to directly compare costs with local programs

But with current visa issues and top business schools creating not only partnerships but actual campuses globally (see INSEAD), perhaps the idea will be revisited now. And, in effect, one could argue that it is already happening - there are schools in Asia with faculty and chairs directly imported from Western design programs. So, if not a “branch” in name, there may already be branches in curriculum, ideals, approach.

Finally, have to consider the impact of online education/distance learning. Perhaps physical location and campuses are becoming less important overall?

Honestly, there is a lot more to this that picking the right country and market research, not that it is not important.

The original campus has a lot of history, infrastructure and culture surrounding it and as a result a lot of intangiable good will when a student visits and studies there.

Creating a branch has never been successful simply because this culture cannot be built some where else. Furthermore there will always be the view that the student attending a branch will be seen as a lesser being than that of a student attending the main campus.

This is pretty much the reason why there will be only one MIT, Harvard or Stanford. Therefore I doubt, despite all the talk there will never be an asian art center.

While I understand your point about original campuses having history, culture, goodwill (that was the direction I was heading when I mentioned “quality standards could not be created, duplicated or maintained so far from the established Pasadena campus”), I have to disagree with some of your points, Lingmiester.

“Creating a branch has never been successful…” - well, Art Center only tried it once, so “never” is a strong word. And if we are talking more generally about quality institutions, then your statement is incorrect. As I pointed out, INSEAD - considered by international rankings to be at the same level as Harvard or Stanford - appears to be attracting high quality students to both France and Singapore for now. Surely they are not the only school on the globe to pull this off.

“This culture cannot be built somewhere else” - I won’t claim it is easy, but in the corporate world, “company culture,” “shared brand values,” “internal branding,” “consistent service standards” etc. are goals that are achieved with varying success on a global scale. I’m sure the IBM campus in India is a bit different than the one at U.S. HQ, but I’m also sure that there are many within that organization who feel some shared IBM culture is being/has been created. And especially top service brands in the hospitality area are known for providing quality and consistent branded service (an end result of shared culture?) at destinations worldwide.

A decade or two ago, I might have agreed with you more on the difficulty of building shared culture in distant locations, but globalization has caused a lot of changes in recent years to support such efforts:

• Free/instant flow of information (allowing curriculum coordination, presentations and demos via video-conference/webcam/DVD/youtube)

• Free flow of goods (procuring identical textbooks worldwide, universally trendy/inspirational product designs available at the same time everywhere)

• Free flow of talent (hiring professors, chairs, staff)

• Free flow of consumers/students (generating WOM, spreading
trends, homogenizing tastes and expectations, exchanging experiences and culture across borders)

As mentioned earlier, yes the technology is easy to solve, but the culture and government systems are much more difficult.

Also we have not asked the most important question: Would Art Center be welcomed to build a campus in Asia?

It is pretty egotistical to just believe that Asian countries would be so excited to have Art center over here.

Yes I do think certain countries would. Take Singapore and its Biopolis as an example. I think it will be to their interest to consider such option.

Egoistic? That’s a surprise, because the mentality of “the west is better” should be pretty evident given your length of stay in Asia.

Also, consider where the job market will be instead. The location of a school plays an important factor on where the students usually find their jobs at. It’s also a way for western students to experience and understand the eastern culture, just like how Asian students do the same in the west.

Mr Cow, :slight_smile:

I agree that west is better has been the phrase of the day, but recently I have seen it losing it’s status.

Actually a lot of my students are looking to Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Shanghai for their move out of Hong Kong. Much fewer are looking for US and European positions.

Art Center in Singapore? Maybe. I am going there at the end of September and will see. As for greater China, Korea and Japan, I just don’t see it happening.

India? I would have to ask my friends there on that idea also.

I know, I know! Art Center in Pakistan :slight_smile:

They have set up collaboration in Japan:

Hi tixi,

Great comments and thanks.

Well to a certain extent you are right, but I think we are talking about Art center here. Your examples of global companies cannot be an apples to apples comparison in this case. Many of the companes create global centers to take advantage of the culture and advantages that area gives.

In fact INSEAD works on this same reason. The basis of their curriculum is to celebrate the differences in approach. In fact an MBA in INSEAD requires lectures and modules taken in different INSEAD campuses all around the world. Companies sponsoring fly their students there.

However institutions such as harvard, or art centre, the whole thinking is different. They focus on the fact that you have to go there to experience their method and thinking and be exposed to their center of learning and culture. As Timf says in this case, its more difficult to transplant. In fact the case study of the failure of setting up in Japan should be a good example. Ask your self this if do you think you would go to an art centre branch in say in shanghai or korea, or in Cali?

Finally, you spoke briefly in globalisation, well with globalisation many companies and schools i bet actually DON’T need to create branches, globalisation actual makes the world smaller as with your execellent examples with the use of the internet. So in reality you don’t have to leave the country and in fact making more sense to run joint venture programs instead.

In Singapore, there are the University of Chicago Graduate school of Business, INSEAD, and a handful of
British Institutions setting up colleges offering mainly graduate courses. But not all are successful. (University of New South Wales
from Australia had closed earlier this year citing funding and a conflict of interest being the main problems.So the students were left with options of either going to the main campus in Sydney or to head for other colleges locally.)

The Singapore Management University here however seems to be running off pretty smoothly and I would
say very successfully with Carneige Mellon University as its backbone college. It has produced competitive
students within a short span of less than 8 years or so. Its a new era of growth for these schools. You no longer need
to spend decades to build up a reputation. The other reason I think contributes to this quick success is because
the government here regulates these schools. The other reasons being that there aren’t a lot of universities here and together with a great majority of students here being extremely earnest about studying, the intake quality is usually very high.

All the above colleges are seen as high quality colleges that require very good academic grades and credentials for candidacy, especially for graduate schools. There are no problems on inferiority mainly
because of their stringent requirements. There is a need for studying at top schools at lower tuition fees and living costs.

If there were an Art Centre here in Singapore, I would think it would be successful. 1. Government is highly supporting the Arts. 2. More students going into art and design courses. 3. Much higher awareness of creativity and education in the creative sector. 4. A lot of people wanting a foreign education at a lower cost, preferably with the mix of the east and the west.

Already this is happening here at the colleges here. A lot of foreign expats teaching alongside with the locals. Many foreigners here for this kind of education too, other than the locals here.

true, but without idealism the world would lack a sense of positive energy that is needed to create a world with a human touch. (well I have a different kiddish view but I often find it makes the harsh world looks happier)

I also think that liberal arts is good for education. Side point here: One main reason that I like about the American University education is exactly the liberal arts ed. I think that is a plus. I had a couple of colleges at hand and shortlisted down to 1 in the US and 1 in Europe. I chose an European education instead also because my parents were worried about safety. Also I thought the college in Europe was sound in design and I could use the nearby colleges which are strong in technical and enginnering input. I had chosen a college in Illinois and had wanted to do Math in Madison Wisconsin later. Only later to find that a lot of female students like me also opted to go to Europe for the same reason. Most were supposed to head for Pratt. So perhaps another point here is to have a safe area too for studying. I personally woud have chosen a US college and I would have wanted a US college in an Asian country. Best to have it here.

out of curosity, why would people want to move out of HK when the place is vibrant ?

There are many reasons (too numerous for me to type tonight) when put together point toward the rapid downfall of Hong Kong in the next 10-20 years. China is using Hong Kong as a test tube to see what works and what doesn’t. Many people see this and the expats seem to be in the “get all I can” mode while, at the ID students, are looking for other countries.

Art Center & Singapore…BUT WILL IT BLEND?

well take your time. I am interested in listening to your views.
I have a couple of friends in HK. But many more of them are in China and the US via this country.

Depends on how you see it. I think in time it probably will. The chances are higher than in the 90s. Much better situation now. Things are changing very rapidly here. Someone who is here just 5 years ago couldn’t recognize the place anymore.

If you place 2 schools along side, a local one and an “Art Center”, which do you think sound more interesting to the student? Well, an experienced individual will tell you to choose the more established one. However, any Asian parent, who finances their kids’ education, will choose the one with more fame.

Art Center in Singapore. Well, it’s not just the school, but how the school helps improve the local industry. Art Center in Singapore will mean bringing foreign talents to teach locally. Foreign talents won’t just be teaching. They will be working for local or foreign firms. Some may even set up studios locally. This is exactly what Singapore government is looking for, using foreign talents to stimulate local industry.

As for your HK students… well, you can tell them to count Taiwan out, for now. Think Thailand instead.