“Defense Offsets” Raytheon’s $50m will help start UMass Lowell campus in Kuwait

Bryan Bender:

Waltham-based Raytheon Co. is planning to invest at least $50 million over the next seven years to establish a campus in Kuwait for the University of Massachusetts Lowell, officials said.

The defense contractor called the arrangement a unique way to meet its contractual commitments to invest in Kuwait, one of its foreign customers, in return for the Arab nation’s purchase of its high-tech weaponry. The university hailed the new campus as a major step in raising UMass Lowell’s international profile.

The pact, two years in the making, will offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, business, education, and science on the campus of the Gulf University for Science and Technology, set up in Kuwait in 2002. Ultimately, an estimated 1,200 students will be enrolled for up to two dozen degrees through the UMass Lowell-Raytheon partnership.

Classes would be available beginning in January. A new engineering college will also be built on the Kuwait City campus, but the details of the construction have not been disclosed.