The University of Aberdeen has dropped an ambitious plan plans to open an international campus that will supposedly be located in South Korea. It comes amidst a downturn in the oil and gas market that dented its business case for the said venture.
The campus was meant to offer offshore-related courses for students in the country. It comes as part of the push of the provincial government of South Gyeongsang to establish the region as a centre of expertise in offshore engineering.
It was first revealed in 2015 and was supposedly planned to open in September 2016.
In August 2016 the education ministry in Seoul granted permission for a one-year postgraduate degree in petroleum engineering, subsea engineering – with support from leading subsea companies – and oil and gas topside engineering that is specifically geared to the Korean market, together with an offering of an MBA in energy management and PhDs.
However, in 2017 the university was forced to open discussions amid some reports that the local government in Hadong may take legal action as the campus was not able to materialise.
The downturn in the industry had reduced the demand for offshore engineering degrees. Aberdeen said that it would begin focusing on other areas which include decommissioning and renewable energy.
After years of delays caused by a combination of financial issues and the oil downturn, it took the “unfortunate” decision and has now been compelled to entirely abandon the plans.
A spokesperson for Aberdeen stated: “We had hoped to open a campus in South Korea offering courses in offshore-related disciplines.”
He added: “Despite many efforts to adapt to the oil and gas downturn and change the focus of the campus towards programmes more relevant to new market conditions, such as degrees in decommissioning and renewable energy engineering, unfortunately we have not been able to go ahead.”
Many institutions in the United Kingdom, including the Universities of Nottingham and Liverpool, have campuses located in Asia.