May 10, 2013, 10:36 am
A couple of years ago, the WorldWise contributor Francisco Marmolejo pondered whether the United States was moving backward in its connections with Brazil. He was concerned that the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program run by the U.S. Education Department was being hurt by budget cuts. He argued that in a time when higher education was growing in Latin America, there needed to be more, not fewer, programs focused on developing relationships between the United States and Brazil.
He was right about the importance of such links. But things are not so dire as our colleague predicted.
Just a few days ago, President Obama announced a new United States-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research. “This forum will build upon the many positive educational and research linkages that already exist through federal, state, and local governments, public and…
April 15, 2013, 11:27 am
There has been much talk in the United States recently about higher-education “bubbles.” The growing student-loan debt is one, while others point to increasing costs and continued high unemployment as an indicator that higher education writ large is creating a bubble. Closer to our area of study are claims of a possible international-branch-campus bubble.
One bubble has gotten less attention and may be on the verge of popping. And if it does, it could have a big impact on academe.
Colleges and universities in the United States have become increasingly reliant on international students. According to latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, international students account for around 10 percent of all graduate enrollments (compared with about 3 percent in undergraduate programs). But a recent report from the Council of Graduate Schools suggests that the pipeline…
March 12, 2013, 10:23 am
How to make sure that educational programs that originate in one country but are delivered in another are of high quality?
The University of Nottingham, in Britain, operates a campus in Malaysia.
Up to now, accreditors and other quality-assurance agencies have attempted to adapt existing procedures to these international engagements—essentially trying to shoehorn them into a model that isn’t a good fit.
For the most part, quality assurance has been domestically focused: designed to review domestic programs that serve a mostly domestic audience. It is inherently built on widely accepted cultural norms of the country. For example, in the United States, the accreditation process is widely based on the idea of shared governance, in which faculty are fully engaged in the institutional review process. But not …
February 14, 2013, 11:20 am
The Chinese government announced recently that it will allow Xiamen University to establish a branch campus in Malaysia. Although this is not the first international branch campus of a Chinese university (Soochow University is in Laos), it does represent a significant move by a major Chinese research university. Though details are not public, what has been reported so far reveal ambitious expectations for enrollment that frankly seem unlikely to be realized.
First, some context is needed on China’s choice of Malaysia. On the surface, there are good reasons why to go to Malaysia. There is a growing demand for higher education there. Importantly, about one quarter of all Malaysians are of Chinese descent and, historically, this population has not had equal access to the public higher-education system. Also, the country has been open to foreign education providers for the past 15…
February 6, 2013, 10:39 am
Like Germany’s auto industry, German higher education is keen to export its models.
Governments have long used higher education as a means for building relationships with foreign nations. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Fulbright program have promoted American higher education abroad. Under the Colombo Plan of the 1950s, Australia started supporting academic exchanges and higher-education development across Asia. The British Council was developed in part as a means for facilitating cooperation among British institutions and foreign countries. And the German Academic Exchange Service, commonly known as DAAD, its initials in German, was founded after World War I to help the nation re-establish and build its foreign relations.
Such work, however, has been somewhat curtailed of late as Western…
January 2, 2013, 12:03 pm
In honor of the New Year, we wanted to put forward five trends that we think will affect international branch campuses in 2013. As is always the case with predictions, we run the risk of being completely wrong. A year from now we will revisit this list to see how we did. In the meantime, feel free to add your own predictions—and critiques—in the comments. And we wish everyone a very happy 2013!
Greater push-back from home campuses. By and large, the development of overseas campuses has been led by senior administrators who jumped into the efforts with limited consultation. Until lately, there has been very little push-back from faculty and others, but we believe this is about to change.
In 2012, Yale faculty members expressed their displeasure about the partnership their president announced with the National University of Singapore to build a liberal-arts college in the island …
November 27, 2012, 11:40 am
Making sure that cross-border higher-education efforts offer quality programs can be a conundrum. The problem is that quality assurance remains centered in nations and defined by political borders. There is no shortage of organizations and proposals to remedy this problem, as we were reminded by the recent announcement of a new International Quality Group sponsored by the U.S.-based Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
But even in Europe, which because of the Bologna Process has been dealing with this issue longer than anyone, countries remain responsible for ensuring the quality of the higher education offered within their borders. Thus, when colleges and universities cross borders to offer their academic programs in a foreign land, they must deal with multiple expectations—and sometimes competing expectations—about how to assure the quality of their programs. Occasionally…
November 1, 2012, 10:35 am
To regular readers of this blog, it will come as no surprise that public colleges and universities are operating across international borders—the University of Nevada at Las Vegas is in Singapore and Texas A&M operates in Qatar. Less known perhaps, is that some public institutions in the United States have campuses in other states. In other words, you can get a degree from Central Michigan University on a campus in Atlanta.
While the movement across state borders may seem like a domestic issue, it does provide a lab for understanding how governments may think about regulating cross-border higher education. In the United States, it seems almost counterintuitive that any state-level public bureaucracy would establish offices specifically to provide services to the citizens of another state. The Illinois Department of Transportation does not repair roads in North Dakota, nor does the…
September 28, 2012, 3:47 pm
We’ve been treated to a rash of stories about how new technological models for higher education raise questions about the viability of the traditional campus. After all, why invest in an elaborate physical plant when virtual education can effectively expand your reach exponentially?
This is of particular interest for global education and multinational universities, as the expense and difficulty of establishing foreign educational outposts may make virtual options seem even more attractive. At this point, though, it’s hard to see how massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, can be the silver bullet to developing globally engaged students or institutions.
To be clear and to set aside a straw-man argument, we don’t believe that MOOC’s were established with global engagement in mind. These entities are mostly about access.
However, they have become popular in overseas markets (…
September 6, 2012, 12:15 pm
In a recent blog on University World News, Rahul Choudaha argues that MOOC’s (massive open online courses) could lead to the decline of international branch campuses. There is some logic to this argument. Access to online learning is available just about anywhere, and economies of scale as represented by the MOOC’s can make education incredibly inexpensive. Branch campuses, on the other hand, double down on geography and are often more expensive than other local options. But does that make MOOC’s and branch campuses mutually exclusive options and interchangeable entities for the provision of higher education? We don’t think so.
Choudaha relies heavily on the notion that international branch campuses are currently unstable. Yes, there have been grand collapses such as George Mason University in the U.A.E. and Australia’s RMIT University in Malaysia. But we have no evidence that…