International partnerships in global higher education


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This panel discussion will consider the ways in which universities use internationalisation, in particular international partnerships and strategic alliances, to supporting their marketing and branding activities with the aim of positioning themselves competitively in a global market. The speakers will offer different perspectives on the development of a university’s brand image and reputation, including the role of consultancies, usually external to an institution, in marketing and brand promotion and the growing use of networks or strategic alliances to shape an institution’s reputation and image. Some case studies of particular universities will illustrate different approaches to this issue. The panel discussion will engage the audience through interactive discussion in reviewing a number of alternative strategic approaches that institutions can consider for their own further development.

QS Asia-Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (QS-APPLE) 7th Annual Conference, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, November 2011

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International partnerships in global higher education

  1. 1. International partnerships in global higher education: inevitable trend or passing fashion?Professor Nigel Healey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Nottingham Trent University
  2. 2. Overview • Forms of international cooperation • Benefits and costs of each form • Small or large networks? • Conclusions
  3. 3. Forms of international cooperation• “Uppsala sequencing model” drawn from the literature on the internationalisation of business:  Exporting  Licensing production  Foreign direct investment: Joint ventures the „third wave’  Foreign direct investment: Sole Ventures• How well does this explain the emergence of strategic partnerships and alliances in global higher education?• Are these partnerships the logical next step in the internationalisation of universities?
  4. 4. Universities as exporters• Exporting educational services = providing education to foreign students by: teaching students on home campus teaching students through „pure‟ distance learning‟ (ie, without the support of a local agent or campus)• Huge and growing market globally first movers Australia and UK, now European and Asian countries attracting international students limited form of internationalisation
  5. 5. Universities as franchisers • Franchising = licensing production • For universities: franchising = licensing a foreign partner, often a private for-profit college to offer part or all of a degree (1+2, 2+1, 3+0, etc) “McDonaldization” of higher education large numbers of such franchises in Asia primarily UK and Australian universities involved
  6. 6. Universities as foreign investors: the„third wave‟ • Third wave includes: Foreign investment as part of a joint venture with a local partner Foreign investment as a sole venture, with the university setting up a branch campus • Most „branch campuses‟ are small executive training centres or joint ventures by universities sharing space on the host‟s campus • Very few genuine branch campuses, notably in China, Malaysia, South Africa; all are joint ventures • For-profit providers like Laureate are investing in foreign campuses through acquisition
  7. 7. However, most international partnershipsand alliances are not following this process…• World Universities Network (16 members/8 countries)• Universitas 21 (21 universities/12 countries)• Asia-Pacific Rim Universities (41 members/17 countries)• League of European Research Universities (21 members/10 countries)• ASEAN University Network (26 members/10 countries)01 February 2013 7
  8. 8. …because universities are not businesses • Universities mix of public, not-for-profit and for-profit • Traditional models of internationalisation explain growth of exporting and franchising in higher education… • …but almost no universities have managed to make money from third wave of internationalisation • Joint ventures and partnerships appear to be driven more by other considerations
  9. 9. Non-commercial drivers of internationalpartnerships• Student and faculty (no-fees) exchange• Joint or dual programmes – degree programmes built around structured student exchange• Research partnerships• All three forms of cooperation may be bilateral or multilateral (networks)• Possible motivations: – create international learning experience to prepare graduates for global labour market – leverage teaching/research capabilities through partnership, especially in big science – ambition to be a global brand
  10. 10. Benefits and costs of Uppsala partnership-based cooperation (1)• Franchising – Benefit: income generating – Cost: seen as exploitative, principal-agent problems, misaligned strategic goals, time-limited• Third Wave – Benefit: income generating, reach new student markets; build brand internationally – Cost: high risk, often built on faulty business models, potential reputational damage
  11. 11. Benefits and costs of non-commercialpartnership-based cooperation (2)• Student/faculty exchange – Benefit: creates international learning opportunities – Cost: expensive, may get little meaningful engagement• Dual degrees – Benefit: income generating, reach new student markets; build brand internationally – Cost: high risk, misalignment of partners‟ objectives, quality assurance issues• Research partnerships – Benefit: economies of scale/scope, brand/profile – Costs: top-down, little real collaboration
  12. 12. Bilateral versus multilateral cooperation• Increasing economies of scale and scope• “A single thread can’t make a chord, nor a single tree a forest” 一个线程不能引起了共鸣,也没有一棵树的森林• versus…• …increasing coordination and management costs• Parallel is between bilateral free trade agreements and multilateral trade negotiations (eg, New Zealand – China FTA versus WTO Doha Round)
  13. 13. Multilateral cooperation: an economist‟sperspective$ Marginal cost (coordination costs) Marginal benefit (economies of scale) Costs of research communication equipment, technologies, faculty standardisation size of network N*
  14. 14. Multilateral cooperation: a managementperspective High Coordination costs “Country “International Club” Banking” “Boutique” “Fast Food” Low Low Economies of scale High
  15. 15. Multilateral cooperation: a managementperspective High Socrates Universitas 21 Coordination costs UMAP LSE/NYU/HKU Laureate Low Low Economies of scale High
  16. 16. Conclusions• The increase of international partnerships partly explained by sequential model of internationalisation…• …but range of other motives for international partnerships• Good partnerships can transform learning experience for students, open up new possibilities for collaborative research• Need to be managed carefully to ensure return on investment, not presidents‟ vanity• Final thought: is global warming a growing threat to traditional models of international partnership?