CMU establishes grad school in Australia

The Heinz School of Public Policy and Management is establishing its first branch in Adelaide, Australia in 2006. The plan is to offer two graduate degrees — one in Information Technology, and the other in Public Policy and Management.

Carnegie Mellon University Provost Mark Kamlet emphasized the “alignment of interest” between the University and the Australian government, as South Australia is an area of research and education that, according to Kamlet, involves the whole Asia-Pacific rim. In fact, according to Carnegie Mellon Today, there is an agreement between Carnegie Mellon and universities of South Australia to collaborate on research and education. One such school is Flanders University.

At least five faculty members will begin in Adelaide in May 2006, and student enrollment is expected to reach 150–200 students over the course of four years, according to Carnegie Mellon Today. Also currently in place is an agreement between the Chinese Ministry of Personnel, Australia, and Carnegie Mellon to send members of the Chinese civil service to study public policy and management in Adelaide.

Kamlet explained that the South Australian defense industry coincides well with the information systems curriculum to be offered. Additionally, Adelaide’s cultural and artistic influence is expected to enhance Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) branch in Adelaide. The ETC focuses on such areas as PC gaming, motion-based rides, and entertainment robotics.

Kamlet hopes that not only will Adelaide provide a unique and beneficial educational experience, but it will also attract foreign students to Carnegie Mellon. “For us, it’s very strategic,” said Kamlet, acknowledging that “there’s an increasing number of students not going to school in the U.S.”

Heinz School Dean Mark Wessel additionally pointed out that Australia is appealing on several levels. Not only is it economically and politically dynamic, said Wessel, but it is also an opportunity for Carnegie Mellon to rear leaders on a global basis. The absence of language, cultural, and environmental barriers further enhances this opportunity.

Wessel said, “We can have a substantial effect on policy in these regions.”

For Wessel, the Heinz branch is a part of Carnegie Mellon’s global vision. Citing author Thomas L. Friedman, Wessel said, “The world is flat.”