All posts by Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser


Can Overseas Branch Campuses Reflect Local Values?

Makerere University in Uganda was once an external college of the University of London.  Here is the main administration building.

Uganda’s Makerere U., once an external college of the U. of London.

We have been thinking a lot recently about the impact on local cultures of importing foreign higher education. How are outside providers different from indigenous institutions? How do branch campuses gain legitimacy and become embedded within the host country’s system of education? What does it mean when a campus established by a foreign university says it is a local institution?

More than 60 countries are home to some 201 inter…


The Rise of ‘Educational Sovereignty’

For the past several decades, many international branch campuses have operated without much oversight from their home countries and with a sense of diplomatic immunity in their host countries. Recently, however, some countries are following the lead of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, and have created structures to regulate foreign education providers within their borders, often giving them special status in the national education system. But, as part of this development, we’ve no…


Looking Ahead: 4 International Trends for 2014

Crystal_ball_(1)It’s a new year, and we’re dusting off the crystal ball to make new prognostications about the future of global higher education. But first, let’s evaluate the predictions we made last year to find out what we got right (and wrong) in 2013.

We correctly predicted that there would be greater pushback against foreign branch campuses and other international programs set up by American universities. At the beginning of 2013, we already knew that John Sexton, president of New York University, was fac…


The Asia Pivot in Higher Education

609px-Asia_Globe_NASAAsia is fast becoming a key player in global higher education. Asian nations’ growing demand for education and the increased investment they have made in their universities presents opportunities and challenges to the world. And recently, some of the first systematic steps have been taken by Asia-Pacific countries to potentially coordinate their higher-education systems.

At a meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, this summer, the leaders of the nations in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, …


How Loyal Are Overseas Branch Campuses to Their Host Countries?

800px-Anchor_in_Cosne-Cours-sur-LoireIn the United States, we often think of colleges and universities as the anchors of their communities. A campus is often among the largest employers in the region, a significant consumer of local goods and services, a critical supporter of local businesses, and a major attractor of new people to the region. Not only does a college educate the next generation of the work force, but it also plays a major role in enhancing the local quality of life and economy. That role is even more important as o…


Solving the Regulatory Challenges of International Campuses

Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_'06)Cross-border higher education inherently operates in multiple jurisdictions, each with its own regulations. That has created a problem for branch campuses and other foreign-education outposts: How should educational quality-assurance agencies in the host country treat programs that have already been evaluated in the home country?

In a buyer-beware world, it may seem prudent for the host country to ignore any outside evaluations and insist that everything be done according to local rules. But thi…


India’s New Rules for Foreign Universities Are a ‘Missed Opportunity’

800px-Welcome_mat_2India appears to have finally agreed to a set of rules for establishing international branch campuses within its borders. This has been a long process, with many false starts and few conclusive decisions. And, as we have written previously, the nation desperately needs to expand access to higher education. Assuming that news reports are accurate, this time it looks like India is finally ready to open up its borders to foreign universities.

But will they be willing to come?

The recent move could …


U.S. Colleges Expand Connections in Latin America

A couple of years ago, the WorldWise contributor Francisco Marmolejo pondered whether the United States was moving backward in its connections with Brazil. He was concerned that the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program run by the U.S. Education Department was being hurt by budget cuts. He argued that in a time when higher education was growing in Latin America, there needed to be more, not fewer, programs focused on developing relationships between the United States and Brazil. Latin_America_(orthographic_projection).svg

He was…


Is the International-Education ‘Bubble’ About to Pop?

Reflection_in_a_soap_bubble_editThere has been much talk in the United States recently about higher-education “bubbles.” The growing student-loan debt is one, while others point to increasing costs and continued high unemployment as an indicator that higher education writ large is creating a bubble. Closer to our area of study are claims of a possible international-branch-campus bubble.

One bubble has gotten less attention and may be on the verge of popping. And if it does, it could have a big impact on academe.

Colleges and u…


Why Higher-Education Accreditors Need International Offices

How to make sure that educational programs that originate in one country but are delivered in another are of high quality?

The University of Nottingham, in Britain, operates a campus in Malaysia.

Up to now, accreditors and other quality-assurance agencies have attempted to adapt existing procedures to these international engagements—essentially trying to shoehorn them into a model that isn’t a good fit.

For the most part, quality assurance has been domestically focused: designed to review domest…