Kuwaitis Tour UW For Ideas

From WMTV News 11/28/2007.

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Madison: The UW campus is being used as a model for a new university in the middle east.

Officials from Kuwait University were on campus Wednesday. The University of Wisconsin is one of only six American colleges being looked at as a model of what the 21st century school should look like.

The Health Science Learning Center is the University of Wisconsin’s best example of what the future of education looks like. “The School of Medicine has about a million square feet of space,” says UW Asst. Dean for Facilities Mark Wells.

A handful of Kuwaiti visitors got the grand tour, getting a hands on look at technology and design. They’re from the College of Arts at Kuwait University, which is about to get a brand new campus. “They are building a new university city and consolidating all the campuses in one location,” says Hassan Gardezi, project architect.

Wisconsin is one of only six United States universities this group specifically requested to visit.

“Our job today is to summarize how we operate, how we plan facilities, how we are developing the classroom for the next century-high technology classroom and sharing that information with them,” says Al Fish, UW Assoc. Chancellor.

Gardezi wanted the visitors to look at everything. “We are particularly asking them to pay attention to the chairs and the tables and the desks and smartboards and computers and stuff like that.”

Fish says the UW understands what Kuwait University is looking at, because they’ve gone through it. “In the last 10 years we’ve really tried to reinvent ourselves as a 21st century high technology research and education university.”

Gardezi says the Kuwait adminisitrators were impressed with the building. “It’s pretty nice.”

Other colleges being visited by the Kuwaitis include Swarthmore College, Duke, North Carolina, Penn and Michigan.