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Trading or Sharing? Emerging
opportunities and challenges for
 cross-border higher education
         IAU 13th General Conference
            Utrecht, 17 July 2008

                  Dr Rosa Becker
                   Senior Researcher
      The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
Cross-Border Higher Education:

“. . . forms of education that are
provided by one country in another –
and situations where students enrol in
higher education abroad”.
Models of Cross-Border Education

•   Franchising of programmes
•   Distance education
•   Joint and dual degree programmes
•   International branch campuses
•   Foreign-backed universities

                           © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
Reasons for providing countries and
     HEIs to offer HE abroad:
•   To attract highly skilled workers
•   To reach new markets & students
•   Revenue generation
•   To increase mutual understanding
•   Internationalisation of the institution
•   To strengthen their international
    reputation
Reasons for host countries and HEIs to
allow foreign programmes being offered
            in their country:
• Stem study abroad rates
• Contribution to local capacity building
  and quality improvement
• Stimulate the local economy
• Attract international students
• Develop research & development
  co-operation
Directions of Cross-Border HE:
•   North to South (vast majority)
•   Developed to developed (e.g. Charles
    Sturt University (AUS) in Canada,
    Carnegie Mellon (US) in Australia)
•   South to South (e.g. India and China in
    Africa)
•   South to North (e.g. Indian and Pakistani
    universities in the UAE)


                               © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
Current Trends in Cross-Border HE:

•   Increasing government awareness and
    policy development
•   Developing countries: emerging sources for
    cross-border provision, regionally & beyond
•   Development of international HE ‘hubs’
    (UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong)
•   Institutions more aware of cost and risk –
    entering into public/private partnerships,
    and consortia with HEIs and government.

                               © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
The future of Cross-Border HE?
• Cross-border HE is likely to grow, but also likely to
  change in form.
• Emerging markets (Vietnam & Middle East): more
  students may take part in cross-border HE.
• More mature markets (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong):
  the nr of students in CBHE may decline due to larger
  scale and better quality of local HE supply.
• Instead of building capacity through cheap and low-
  status foreign programmes, governments in mature
  markets are squeezing out many TNE programmes, and
  encouraging smaller-scale, but higher status, campuses
  of prestigious foreign universities.

                                             Source: G. McBurnie & C. Ziguras (2007)Transnational Education;
                       The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (2006) The International Branch Campus
Issues Arising: Quality Assurance
• There is a need for better qa mechanisms and
  recognition of international qualifications
• QA agencies are paying increasing attention to
  universities operating abroad
• But: how can countries/institutions best ensure the
  quality of overseas programmes?
• For HEIs, it is important to integrate qa procedures
  for overseas provision within institutional qa system
• In some countries, a less bureaucratic and stifling
  quality assessment approach may be needed as
  more universities are experiencing in creative ways
  with overseas provision
Collaboration vs. Competition
• How can you ensure that cross-border HE is undertaken
  in partnership, even if competition is the driving force?
• It is crucial to choose the right partners.
• International partners with similar aims and values may
  help both institutions to gain market share in the global HE
  market.
• Some partners will want to extract what they can from
  others, to benefit from others’ strengths in S&T. There are
  considerable risks involved in developing international
  collaborations, and if universities do not do their
  homework properly, their partners may be capable of
  gaining more from the ‘partnerships’ than they do.
Sustainability
• Are the goals of equity and capacity
  building being replaced in favour of
  revenue generation?

• Argument: for partnerships to be
  sustainable, they can not be purely
  focused on revenue generation. There
  must be real quality provision and a
  degree of mutual benefit.
Equal Partnership or Colonisation?


 • Is Cross-Border Higher Education
   a new form of colonisation?
  (J. Currie, A. Hickling-Hudson, G. Steiner Khamsi)
Equal Partnership or Colonisation?

 The University of Washington’s motto:

  “To learn more than we teach,
  and leave more than we take”

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Utrecht sb- rosa becker

  • 1. Trading or Sharing? Emerging opportunities and challenges for cross-border higher education IAU 13th General Conference Utrecht, 17 July 2008 Dr Rosa Becker Senior Researcher The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
  • 2. Cross-Border Higher Education: “. . . forms of education that are provided by one country in another – and situations where students enrol in higher education abroad”.
  • 3. Models of Cross-Border Education • Franchising of programmes • Distance education • Joint and dual degree programmes • International branch campuses • Foreign-backed universities © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
  • 4. Reasons for providing countries and HEIs to offer HE abroad: • To attract highly skilled workers • To reach new markets & students • Revenue generation • To increase mutual understanding • Internationalisation of the institution • To strengthen their international reputation
  • 5. Reasons for host countries and HEIs to allow foreign programmes being offered in their country: • Stem study abroad rates • Contribution to local capacity building and quality improvement • Stimulate the local economy • Attract international students • Develop research & development co-operation
  • 6. Directions of Cross-Border HE: • North to South (vast majority) • Developed to developed (e.g. Charles Sturt University (AUS) in Canada, Carnegie Mellon (US) in Australia) • South to South (e.g. India and China in Africa) • South to North (e.g. Indian and Pakistani universities in the UAE) © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
  • 7. Current Trends in Cross-Border HE: • Increasing government awareness and policy development • Developing countries: emerging sources for cross-border provision, regionally & beyond • Development of international HE ‘hubs’ (UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong) • Institutions more aware of cost and risk – entering into public/private partnerships, and consortia with HEIs and government. © The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
  • 8. The future of Cross-Border HE? • Cross-border HE is likely to grow, but also likely to change in form. • Emerging markets (Vietnam & Middle East): more students may take part in cross-border HE. • More mature markets (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong): the nr of students in CBHE may decline due to larger scale and better quality of local HE supply. • Instead of building capacity through cheap and low- status foreign programmes, governments in mature markets are squeezing out many TNE programmes, and encouraging smaller-scale, but higher status, campuses of prestigious foreign universities. Source: G. McBurnie & C. Ziguras (2007)Transnational Education; The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (2006) The International Branch Campus
  • 9. Issues Arising: Quality Assurance • There is a need for better qa mechanisms and recognition of international qualifications • QA agencies are paying increasing attention to universities operating abroad • But: how can countries/institutions best ensure the quality of overseas programmes? • For HEIs, it is important to integrate qa procedures for overseas provision within institutional qa system • In some countries, a less bureaucratic and stifling quality assessment approach may be needed as more universities are experiencing in creative ways with overseas provision
  • 10. Collaboration vs. Competition • How can you ensure that cross-border HE is undertaken in partnership, even if competition is the driving force? • It is crucial to choose the right partners. • International partners with similar aims and values may help both institutions to gain market share in the global HE market. • Some partners will want to extract what they can from others, to benefit from others’ strengths in S&T. There are considerable risks involved in developing international collaborations, and if universities do not do their homework properly, their partners may be capable of gaining more from the ‘partnerships’ than they do.
  • 11. Sustainability • Are the goals of equity and capacity building being replaced in favour of revenue generation? • Argument: for partnerships to be sustainable, they can not be purely focused on revenue generation. There must be real quality provision and a degree of mutual benefit.
  • 12. Equal Partnership or Colonisation? • Is Cross-Border Higher Education a new form of colonisation? (J. Currie, A. Hickling-Hudson, G. Steiner Khamsi)
  • 13. Equal Partnership or Colonisation? The University of Washington’s motto: “To learn more than we teach, and leave more than we take”