5 International Trends for 2013 from the Chronicle of Higher Education

Researchers are setting predictions for the 5 trends that may affect international branch campuses in 2013.

1) More pushback from home campuses

Before: overseas campuses developed with promises of enhanced prestige and revenue development by senior administrators with little consultation with faculty

These two events are evidence that faculty members no longer see cross-border efforts as peripheral activities and won’t be placated by promises of enhanced prestige for the institution and vague assertions of revenue development.

Prediction: faculty members are more likely to assert their right to participate in the expansion.

2) Shift from expansion to quality

Before: countries were so eager to develop educational links that any foreign institution was a potential partner and “just about any Western college could find a host for a campus if it wanted to expand overseas.”

…from the demand side, expectations from host countries are shifting toward using international rankings to evaluate potential partners…on the supply side, institutions are recognizing that it is complicated to ensure the academic quality of a branch campus, and questions about academic freedom can’t be brushed aside.”

Now: Host countries will evaluate institutional prestige while institutions are recognizing the difficulties of ensuring the academic quality of branch campuses.

3) Global competition to be education hubs

Growing number of nations will seek to be global or regional education hubs primarily by attracting foreign branch campuses. [commentary ours: If, say, NYU Shanghai turns out to be as good as NYU New York or NYU Abu Dhabi, then the focus of overseas education for many countries may be less on traditional countries such as the U.S., UK, and Canada.]

4) Focus on economic development

Before: Branch campuses have mostly had a primary focus on teaching, while work-force development has been a goal of many host nations.

Now:  Host countries will encourage and support the development of locally relevant research agendas “as campuses mature and governments begin to see the critical link between research, innovation, and economic competitiveness.”

5) Increasing diversity of programs

International branch campuses vary widely in their range of activities and their operational models. Chronicle writers believe that there will be more value in identifying the diversity and distinctiveness of the model

…more universities will employ partnership models, such as the Johns Hopkins University-Perdana University in Malaysia, that take advantage of local capacity for higher education. Business models will diversify as well, with start-up loans from host governments becoming more common than direct subsidies, and public-private partnerships contracting with academic branches to provide supporting infrastructure and facilities.


photo credit: CollegeBound.net

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