A Fuqua School of Business degree program initially scheduled to launch this month in Dubai has been halted.
The part-time Master of Management Studies in Finance program, which was approved by Academic Council in October 2011, has faced difficulty securing local sponsors for scholarships. The two-year license Fuqua received from the United Arab Emirates in June 2010 to run the program is set to expire this month, Jennifer Francis, senior associate dean for programs, wrote in an email Tuesday. Fuqua will need to reapply for this license if the program is to come to fruition in the future. Duke remains in contact with UAE education officials.
Kevin Anselmo, associate director of public relations for Fuqua, confirmed in an email that the program will not need to be cleared through Duke again.
The degree program as it has been designed is similar to the MMS: Foundations of Business program currently provided in Durham.
“While we will not be able to launch the MMS: Finance program on our original timetable, we remain optimistic about our ability to run the MMS: Finance program in the region at a later date,” Francis said.
The exact details of the logistics of the program and its suspension are not entirely clear. Anselmo deferred requests to speak with Fuqua Dean William Boulding and Lana Dajani, regional director for the Middle East for Fuqua, to a May 30 press release.
“Bold initiatives—like launching a degree program in another part of the world—never come easy,” Boulding said in the press release. “We go forward with our activities in the region with a renewed sense of these challenges and a commitment to work through matters and act accordingly for the betterment of our school and the region.”
Although she said she was hopeful until recent weeks that the program would begin on time, Francis said the complexity of launching a foreign degree program made it ultimately impossible for Fuqua to adhere to its initially planned launch date.
“The fact that the MMS: Finance program didn’t launch as originally scheduled further underscores the complexity of launching a degree program within a university context and in a region which involves several organizational players to be successful,” Francis said. “It’s never easy launching a degree program outside your home country.”
Francis said the setback for the Dubai program will not have any bearing on Duke’s operations in other parts of the world.
“MMS: Finance is specific to doing business in the UAE and is neither a reflecton on, nor will impact, Duke University’s activities in Durham, in China or anywhere else,” she said. “We, at Fuqua, remain committed to the UAE, a key region in our global strategy. We maintain a staff on the ground in Dubai.”
Fuqua already attracts students from UAE, Francis said, through its Cross Continent and Global Executive MBA programs and the Dubai Duke Leadership program, launched in December 2011.