More interest in branch campuses

Immigration constraints prompt overseas interests has an interesting piece on institutional ambitions overseas:

In research carried out by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, 67% of surveyed universities said that Government policy on immigration and fees made them more likely to establish an overseas presence.
The internationalisation of higher education is not, of course, a new phenomenon – 80% of universities surveyed already have an international presence – but the pace of internationalisation is accelerating, driven in most cases by the change in Government policy.
The most popular method of international collaboration is currently the use of joint or dual degrees, with 57% of those surveyed already providing these and 52% considering collaborating to reach overseas markets.


University of Nottingham Ningbo, China - Internationalisation for real
University of Nottingham Ningbo, China – Internationalisation for real

As the article notes there is a lot more to internationalisation than branch campus development but nevertheless it does seem that there are plenty of institutions considering the possibility:

When choosing where to expand to, the Pinsent Masons survey revealed that, unsurprisingly, universities are focussing on where the greatest demand is – namely countries with an expanding middle class and a relative shortage of higher education places.

This is why universities are focusing on China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil and the Middle East. Of those surveyed, 80% of universities told us that they were targeting China.

More surprising is the presence of the USA, an already mature higher education market, on the priority lists of over half of universities.

Although the idea of establishing an overseas campus is not new and does represent a rational response to the challenges of Government immigration policy this is a far from straightforward strategy. As noted in a previous post about the University of Nottingham’s international activities there is a lot to consider and it requires a significant, deep and sustained commitment to internationalisation. Both abroad and at home.

One thought on “More interest in branch campuses

  1. Great reflection at the end. This reminds me of Globalisation trends in the late 1950s when large MNCs sought to move abroad for various reasons, including lowering costs and accessing new markets. The latter seems to be the case for this increasing trend in IBCs. Going abroad to find students at their homeland does not make you international. It makes you a multinational organisation, in terms of your operation, but does not imply that you automatically develop an international dimension. Paul’s reflection at the end underlines this. How much of IBC staff is international – including academics from the host country, how much of the curriculum incorporates international and/or crosscultural elements, and which languages are used to deliver the programmes, are some of the elements that will determine the degree of internationalisation in the offshore campuses.

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