How to take over the world

A handy guide to global domination

KPMG have produced a useful guide to universities looking to expand their international activities. Its Guiding Principles for Global Expansion offers some sensible advice for universities looking to develop their global operations and highlights a range of motivations for doing so:

Higher education institutions around the world are responding to the increasingly compelling drivers for the continued globalisation of their market, but, when planning transnational expansion, institutions do not always take the critical steps necessary to either maximize the opportunities or to manage the associated risks, according to ‘Extending the Campus,’ a new report from KPMG International.

The professional services firm asserts that transnational growth is driven by a host of factors:

  • Emerging markets with a growing middle-class aiming to enhance their economic development by attracting foreign institutions as well as investing in their own local education capabilities.
  • Institutions in mature markets, especially those impacted by austerity measures, responding to pressure on domestic enrolment and revenues by pursuing growth outside their immediate geographies.
  • A drive for global brand enhancement (and protection) to attract the highest calibre academics and researchers.
  • Increased demand by employers and students for global skills and experience. OECD data shows that growth in the number of students opting for an international higher education was at an annual rate of seven percent between 2000 and 2010.
  • Increasing global collaboration on research activities.

An essential part of the answer is, of course, to hire some capable advisors if you’re in this game.

The full report is available here. it does contain some sensible advice and any university looking to establish a significant international footprint will undoubtedly look to follow this path in some form or other as those in the case studies in the report have done. One of the key points stressed in the report is that international partnership activity is a long game and the timescales for engagement need to go way beyond the life of the next strategic plan. It’s a well-made argument.