Northeastern will launch its newest campus next year in Miami, a move that will bring the university’s signature experiential learning model to the rapidly growing economy of South Florida.
The university’s 14th campus will be based in the Wynwood neighborhood and offer educational programs with a focus on technology, health care and finance.
Beginning in 2011, Northeastern has built a growing global university system of campuses designed to meet the talent and research needs of regional economies across North America and in the United Kingdom.
In addition to Boston, London and Oakland, California, Northeastern also has campuses in Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Charlotte, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, as well as Arlington, Virginia; Portland, Maine; and Nahant and Burlington, Massachusetts.
Driven by multiple economic and geographical factors, a record 57 companies have committed to expand or relocate to Florida’s Miami-Dade County over the past year. That has resulted in a 29% increase in tech job postings, with employers hiring nearly 700 software developers and analysts per month.
Northeastern has received approval from the state of Florida to offer more than 20 graduate-level degree programs in high-growth areas such as biotechnology, computer science, data, analytics and engineering.
“Miami is an ecosystem of economic growth with a blossoming tech culture and a growing demand for talent,” says Joseph E. Aoun, Northeastern’s president. “An international city well positioned for the future, Miami is the ideal site in Northeastern’s global university system. We look forward to exciting partnerships with industry, government and academia across the state of Florida to bring degree programs in high-growth fields.”
In Miami, as it has done around the world, Northeastern will also enter into partnerships with employers to design learning programs—and connect entrepreneurs, mentors, researchers and funders—to meet the future needs of the region’s employer ecosystem.
“The opportunity to leverage our experiential learning model to support the growth of the Miami economy, and its learner ecosystem, aligns with the vision of our academic plan to have impact in the world and enable lifelong learning, anywhere, anytime,” said Mary Ludden, Northeastern’s senior vice president for global network and strategic initiatives.
Maria C. Alonso has joined Northeastern as the CEO and regional dean of the Miami campus. Alonso is a longtime banking executive and former president and CEO of the United Way Miami.
In addition to her background in financial services and philanthropy, Alonso’s longstanding connection to the Miami community includes civic leadership and engagement. She’s the former chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s economic development strategic plan and has served on the boards of most of Miami’s anchor organizations.
“I am excited to join the Northeastern University family and build upon its rich history of impact for the benefit of our community and beyond,” Alonso said. “At this particularly exciting time in Miami, our new campus will be poised to complement the existing educational ecosystem in building a skilled workforce that meets industry needs, now and into the future.”
Miami’s tech sector has been driven by sharp increases in venture capital investment, new company formation and expansion of large companies.
Amazon, SoftBank, Founders Fund and Goldman Sachs are just a few of the companies that have recently opened or expanded offices in Miami and plan to invest hundreds of millions in local startups. Major global companies such as Blackrock, Microsoft, Uber, Google and Spotify have also opened Miami offices.
Some have suggested that Miami could be the next Silicon Valley. In its report, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council said the 57 business commitments will add $800 million annually to the local economy, including 8,000 new jobs with an average salary of $97,000.
“Northeastern’s groundbreaking approach to talent development is the missing piece needed to support the plethora of jobs currently available and support the jobs of the future,” says TJ Villamil, senior vice president for Enterprise Florida Inc., a champion of private-sector job creation in the state.
Villamil says Northeastern is a perfect cultural fit for South Florida’s rich history, present diversity and future growth trajectory.
“We in Florida and in Miami are thrilled that a world-class university and globally recognized brand in Northeastern selected our community to establish its next major presence,” Villamil says.
Deeply multicultural and diverse, Miami is a hub for international commerce, with more than half its residents foreign born, including 1.2 million from the Caribbean, South American and Central America.
“Miami is proud to be the gateway to Latin America and we know that Northeastern’s next global campus here will thrive as the region grows in prominence and stature,” Villamil says.
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Photo by AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell