International branch campus

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An international branch campus (IBC) is a form of international higher education whereby one or more partnering institutions establishes a physical presence in a foreign location for the purpose of expanding global outreach and student exchange. Generally named for their "home" institution and offering undergraduate and graduate programs, graduating students are conferred degrees from one or all partnering institutions, dependent on the agreement.[1] Instruction most often occurs in properties owned or leased by the foreign institution, sometimes with a local partner, and may also include additional services and facilities to mirror Western universities. IBCs are delivered in many formats and currently exist all over the world. As a relatively new method of delivering post-secondary education, IBCs have been deemed successful and yet face continual criticism.

Background[edit]

American University of Beirut

While the internationalization of higher education is considered a contemporary phenomenon, it has a variety of historical roots. During the colonial era, the practice of setting up "branch" institutions in foreign countries or sponsoring schools in the colonies was commonplace, serving the most basic purposes characteristic of the period. This practice continued into the nineteenth century by American Protestant missionaries, who established colleges grounded in the U.S. model in countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, practices from which the American University of Beirut was founded.[2] In a broader sense, higher education institutions have long held global orientations, in that they served international students, employed professors from different countries, and functioned chiefly in the common language of Latin.[3]

Close resemblances of the contemporary branch campus model emerged in the early twentieth century. At this time, these campuses functioned primarily to serve U.S. military and civilian personnel in the U.S.-owned Canal Zone.[4] Florida State University, among other institutions, began providing this type of cross-border program as early 1933. In the 1950s, Johns Hopkins University opened a branch campus in Italy which is now considered the oldest established branch campus still in operation.[5] The first concentration of branch campuses in a single country was established in Japan during the 1980s for various diplomatic reasons. Wanting to improve the relationship between Japan and the United States, the Japanese government recruited several U.S. universities to establish branch campuses on its soil, of which nearly 30 did in cooperation with Japanese institutions or private companies.[6] Only one of these campuses remain today; the rest mostly closing due to inconvenient locations and difficulties in English language instruction.[7]

International branch campuses began to proliferate in the mid-1990s and further into the twenty-first century. The first non-American institution to establish a branch campus in the modern era was French Fashion University that opened in Norway in 1990. The rest of the 1990s saw a wave of diversifying institutions expanding abroad, primarily from Australia, Mexico, Chile, Ireland, Canada, Italy, the UK, and Sweden; to target areas in Africa, Southeast and East Asia, the Middle East and South America.[8] There were approximately 50 IBCs at the end of the '90s boom (not including those in the Japanese bubble), reaching 183 in 2011.[9][10] Seen by some as an extraordinary form of privatization in the public sector (largely due to the geographic separation from the state), as of 2015 there are 282 branch campuses worldwide.[11] Not included in this figure are the range of for-profit providers, such as The Apollo Group through the University of Phoenix, who now has campuses in Mexico, India, Latin America and parts of Europe.[12]

Globalization and higher education[edit]

The growth of branch campuses and internationalizing activities in the 1990s can be largely attributed to the forces of globalization. Though there were plenty of opponents against the idea that higher education should be subject to the types of free-trade agreements that were applied toward commercial goods and services within the global economy,[13] counterarguments offer the perspective that trade had already been present in higher education for some time, evidenced in the increasing numbers of students seeking education overseas. In fact, this trade was seen in many ways as a tool for international relations and soft power.[14]

One development which was of particular significance to the globalization of education was the finalization of the Uruguay round of trade talks in 1995, from which the World Trade Organization (WTO), the body that monitors and promotes free trade, was formed. The Uruguay round also saw the creation of new trade agreements, such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). The significance of these trade agreements was that they expanded the notion of trading in goods to include trading in services.[15]

Geographic locations[edit]

Most international branch campuses are located throughout Asia and the Middle East.[16] IBCs have developed in dense pockets in regions such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia. Both the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have transformed themselves as educational hubs (a collection of campuses from multiple institutions in a common space, creating educational 'hubs', 'cities,' or 'parks'), with Saudi Arabia and Malaysia following closely behind. These academic reforms are mostly market-driven; approximately two-thirds of the new universities in the Arab Middle East are private and nearly half are branches of Western institutions, mostly from the United States,[17] and others from Australia and the United Kingdom.[18][19]

Many of the countries with the most IBCs (United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China, Malaysia and Singapore) have struggled with the problem of brain drain.[20][21][22] The logic of hosting a foreign institution’s branch campus is to prevent local students from actually studying abroad by luring them to stay by receiving a foreign degree at home and at a considerably lower cost.[23][24] Hosting a foreign branch campus can also enhance links with industry, as in some cases programs offered at the campus are aligned by the government to reflect the nation's industry needs; in other cases, such as typically in the Arab Middle East, IBCs help expedite the process of transitioning from an oil economy to a knowledge economy.[25]

Notable regions and institutions[edit]

Nearly half of the IBCs in operation today are from American institutions, with Australia and the United Kingdom following closely behind.[26] For many institutions, the establishment of a branch campus abroad is an opportunity to improve international relationships, ability to attract foreign talent, increase prestige and tuition revenue, and expand opportunities for external funding.[27]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

Dubai Knowledge Village

The UAE has set aggressive goals to make it a destination for higher education destination.[28] Free zones have been established in individual Emirates in which organizations operating from within are exempt from federal regulation. These zones were originally intended for foreign investment from corporations and have expanded to house education hubs—or education cities. IBCs in free zones are generally financially independent and expected to cover their own costs.[29] Fifty of these IBCs are located across four different free zones in Dubai, each operating as its own complex. Established by real estate master developer TECOM Investments in 2003 to compliment other business parks, Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) contains 15 IBCs and 150 training institutions and learning centers. DKV was expanded in 2007 to Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), which consists of 40 branch campuses of foreign universities.[30] There are a number of private institutions outside the UAE’s free zones. The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), the federal accrediting body modeled after agencies in the United States, regulates these institutions. Foreign education providers are expected to obey and maintain the policies and regulations of their home campus.

Qatar: Education City[edit]

LAS Building at Education City The Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) building on the Education City campus in Doha, Qatar, where classes are held for both Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and for Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Qatar’s Education City was developed to attract top programs, primarily from the United States, as a direct response to the country’s brain drain problem, and in hopes to attract foreign-born students to stay in Qatar.[31] While IBCs in Education City remain private institutions, the construction of Education City was funded through the royal family’s Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.[32] There are currently nine universities with programs available at IBCs in the Education City, in addition to one Qatari university. The curriculum is taught in English and features the traditional U.S. model of general education. Students can enroll in courses from multiple IBCs at one time.[33] The nine institutions in Education City include:

· Virginia Commonwealth University

· Houston Community College

· Weill Cornell Medical College

· Texas A&M

· Carnegie Mellon

· Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

· Northwestern University

· Hautes Etudes Commerciales de (HEC) Paris

· University College London

Malaysia[edit]

Development of international branch campuses in Malaysia reflects the country’s pursuit of becoming a global knowledge hub. Two major IBC initiatives in Malaysia include EduCity in Iskandar and Kuala Lumpur Education City (KLEC). Built in an economic free-zone, EduCity is sponsored by the government-backed investment organization, Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), whose strategic goals include recruiting regional students, producing a skilled workforce that supports foreign companies in the free-zones of Iskandar.[34] KLEC, which is located in the Klang Valley of Kuala Lumpur, is overseen by the private investment firm KLEC Ventures, which seeks to attract commercial investment to Malaysia and touts its environmentally friendly and energy efficient nature. These institutions exemplify Malaysia’s recent shift from sending students abroad to receiving students from abroad.

Criticisms[edit]

Though a variety of studies concerning the student experience and satisfaction in IBCs have found that most students react to their branch campuses similarly to their peers at the home institutions,[35] criticism of IBCs abound. Most prominent among these concerns are those that relate to attracting and retaining host campus faculty, misalignment between home and branch campus,[36] replicating diversity and quality of the student body,[37] mirroring forms of cultural imperialism,[38] lack of data to drive decision-making,[39] organizational culture,[40] and the ability of IBCs to adapt to the "new" local context.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilkins, S. (2010). Higher education in the United Arab Emirates: an analysis of the outcomes of significant increases in supply and competition. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 32(4), 389-400
  2. ^ Altbach, P. G. (2004). Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world.Tertiary Education & Management, 10(1), 3-25.
  3. ^ Altbach, P. G. (2004). Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world.Tertiary Education & Management, 10(1), 3-25.
  4. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Global expansion of international branch campuses: Managerial and leadership challenges. New Directions for Higher Education, 2011(155), 5-17.
  5. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Importing private higher education: International branch campuses. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13(4), 367-381.
  6. ^ Altbach, P. G. (2004). Globalisation and the university: Myths and realities in an unequal world.Tertiary Education & Management, 10(1), 3-25.
  7. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Global expansion of international branch campuses: Managerial and leadership challenges. New Directions for Higher Education, 2011(155), 5-17.
  8. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Importing private higher education: International branch campuses. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13(4), 367-381.
  9. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Importing private higher education: International branch campuses. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13(4), 367-381.
  10. ^ C-BERT. (2014). Branch campus listing. http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php.
  11. ^ C-BERT. (2015). Branch campus listing. http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php.
  12. ^ Marginson, S., & Wende, M. V. D. (2007). Globalisation and higher education. OECD: Education working paper No. 8. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/edu/research/37552729.pdf
  13. ^ Ross, A. (2008). Global U. The university against itself: The NYU strike and the future of the academic workplace, 211-223.
  14. ^ Sidhu, R. (2007). GATS and the new developmentalism: Governing transnational education. Comparative Education Review, 51(2), 203-227.
  15. ^ Spring, Joel. Globalization of Education: An Introduction. New York & London: Routledge, 2009.
  16. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Importing private higher education: International branch campuses. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13(4), 367-381.
  17. ^ Romani, V. (2009). The politics of higher education in the Middle East: Problems and prospects. Middle East Brief, 36, 1-8.
  18. ^ Owens, T. L., & Lane, J. E. (2014). Cross‐border higher education: Global and local tensions within competition and economic development. New Directions for Higher Education, 2014(168), 69-82.
  19. ^ McBurnie, G. (2015). International branch campuses: Australian case studies. International Higher Education, (29).
  20. ^ Lien, D. (2008). Economic analysis of transnational education. Education Economics, 16(2), 149-166.
  21. ^ Marginson, S. (2006). Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher education, 52(1), 1-39.
  22. ^ Mazzarol, T., Soutar, G. N., & Seng, M. S. Y. (2003). The third wave: Future trends in international education. The International Journal of Educational Management, 17(2/3), 90–99.
  23. ^ Lane, J. E. (2011). Global expansion of international branch campuses: Managerial and leadership challenges. New Directions for Higher Education, 2011(155), 5-17.
  24. ^ Marginson, S. (2006). Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher education, 52(1), 1-39.
  25. ^ Mazzarol, T., Soutar, G. N., & Seng, M. S. Y. (2003). The third wave: Future trends in international education. The International Journal of Educational Management, 17(2/3), 90–99.
  26. ^ Lien, D., & Wang, Y. (2012). The effects of a branch campus. Education economics, 20(4), 386-401.
  27. ^ Lien, D., & Wang, Y. (2012). The effects of a branch campus. Education economics, 20(4), 386-401.
  28. ^ Wilkins, S. (2010). Higher education in the United Arab Emirates: an analysis of the outcomes of significant increases in supply and competition. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 32(4), 389-400.
  29. ^ Romani, V. (2009). The politics of higher education in the Middle East: Problems and prospects. Middle East Brief, 36, 1-8.
  30. ^ Romani, V. (2009). The politics of higher education in the Middle East: Problems and prospects. Middle East Brief, 36, 1-8.
  31. ^ C-BERT. (2014). Branch campus listing. http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php.
  32. ^ Ross, A. (2008). Global U. The university against itself: The NYU strike and the future of the academic workplace, 211-223.
  33. ^ C-BERT. (2014). Branch campus listing. http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php.
  34. ^ Knight, J., & Morshidi, S. (2011). The complexities and challenges of regional education hubs: Focus on Malaysia. Higher Education, 62(5), 593-606.
  35. ^ Wilkins, S., Stephens Balakrishnan, M., & Huisman, J. (2012). Student satisfaction and student perceptions of quality at international branch campuses in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 34(5), 543-556.
  36. ^ Vora, N. (2014). Between global citizenship and Qatarization: negotiating Qatar's new knowledge economy within American branch campuses. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(12), 2243-2260.
  37. ^ Altbach, P. (2015). Why branch campuses may be unsustainable. International Higher Education, (58).
  38. ^ Altbach, Philip G., and Jane Knight. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11, 3-4: 290-305.
  39. ^ McBurnie, G. (2015). International branch campuses: Australian case studies. International Higher Education, (29).
  40. ^ Tierney, W. G., & Lanford, M. (2014). An investigation of the impact of international branch campuses on organizational culture. Higher Education, 1-16.
  41. ^ Owens, T. L., & Lane, J. E. (2014). Cross‐border higher education: Global and local tensions within competition and economic development. New Directions for Higher Education, 2014(168), 69-82.

External links[edit]