USF to offer classes in Singapore

When the USF College of Business starts its four-year degree program in Singapore, it will be doing more than adding a bit of spice to its classes. The partnership with Broward Community College and China’s Center for American Education will join the college with only one other undergraduate program in the country.

Bob Forsythe, dean of the College of Business, said students will condense a regular 16-week course into three weeks through twice-daily class and lecture periods.

“This is a great way to have a mini study-abroad program and give students the chance to sit in a classroom with other students from across the world,” Forsythe said.

Students will pay Florida tuition rates and are required to pay for airfare and lodging. The trip will be similar to other study-abroad programs but will have nearly 60 percent of the courses taught by Florida professors. In addition, the classes will count toward the student’s major, unlike other study-abroad programs, and will not delay any progress from graduation.

Funding for the partnership will not come from University money or taxpayers, but instead will be a self-sufficient source of revenue, according to Forsythe.

Forsythe said he views Singapore and much of the Asian continent as a fast-growing economic region that can provide young business students with vast information that can transfer to Bay area businesses. “We want students to facilitate the experience they receive from businesses in Southeast Asia and bring that back to Tampa,” Forsythe said.

Broward Community College has been working with the Center for American Education in Singapore for more than 20 years. Forsythe said classes offered by the college will have a diverse group of students from up to 23 countries.

The College of Business has reported that a dozen Singaporean students have submitted applications for the program as of last week. Those students will be required to pay rates established by the Center for American Education.

According to, Singapore has a current $134 billion economy, a 6.1 percent increase from the first quarter, and has grown significantly over the past few years.

Even though the country has had three recessions since 1998, Bloomberg reports that the government expects the country to grow from 3 to 5 percent more by the end of the year.

In March 2007, Forbes magazine published an article listing Singapore as one of the 20 emerging economies to watch. Forbes quoted the World Bank as saying “Singapore is the easiest country in the world in which to start and run a business,” and said the country has one of the most expensive emerging markets.

The University’s ambitions don’t stop in Singapore, Forsythe said. The college is in negotiations to establish a master’s in business administration program in Romania. If started, USF would be the first American university to offer a MBA program in Romania, Forsythe said.

“Obviously there is a competition aspect,” he said.