Overseas non-profit American universities
The United States pioneered the concept of independent overseas non-profit universities in 1863 when the American University of Beirut was founded. Since then, more than thirty overseas American universities have been established in twenty-eight countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia for a variety of reasons. Some were established as an offer of American charity to countries or cities that did not have universities (e.g., American University of Beirut). Some were established to bring the excellence of the American style of education to places where local universities were underperforming (e.g., American College of Greece). Some were established to promote friendship between the people of the United States and the people of the host country (e.g., Fulbright University Vietnam). The American University of Myanmar is being established in response to requests from Myanmar citizens for a university of international standard to help Myanmar develop.
All overseas American universities are:
• incorporated as non-profit companies in one of the United States,
• are subject to U.S. law and government quality assurance requirements,
• are governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees with substantial representation from the host country,
• have degree-granting authority from their state of incorporation,
• have or are pursuing U.S. accreditation, and
• offer an American style of education including an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum.