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Carnegie Mellon opening campus in Rwanda

Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, came to Pittsburgh Friday to officially announce that Carnegie Mellon University would open a branch campus in his country, where it will offer a master of science in information technology.

While many American universities have opened branch campuses abroad, most have been in Middle Eastern or Asian nations with deep pockets to support the ventures. (Carnegie Mellon is among those universities, with a branch in Qatar.) Only a few American colleges and universities have degree programs in Africa, and they have generally not attracted the fanfare of efforts in China, Qatar and elsewhere.

Officials at Carnegie Mellon and elsewhere said that it was crucial for American universities to include African nations among those with which they work. But several human rights groups focused on Africa issued an open letter to the university on Friday calling on it not to go ahead with the effort, citing the decidedly mixed record of Rwanda’s government on civil liberties. As the university prepared for the Rwandan president to speak, dueling protest groups arrived on the campus — one opposing relationships with Rwanda and one encouraging such ties.

The degree to be offered builds on Carnegie Mellon’s strengths in technology and on the desire of Rwanda to build up its technological infrastructure.

Read the full story at Inside Higher Ed.

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