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International Branch Campuses - Trends and Developments 2016
The OBHE & C-BERT of SUNY, Albany & Pennsylvania State University


Brain Gain:  Charting the impact and future of TNE
9-11 November 2016

IBCs - Trends & Developments 2016

By the OBHE with C-BERT of SUNY at Albany & Pennsylvania State University


This is the fifth report on international branch campuses (IBCs) from the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. It was produced in conjunction with the Cross-Border Education Research Team (C-BERT) at the State University of New York at Albany and Pennsylvania State University. The Observatory and C-BERT are the world’s two leading authorities on international branch campuses.

The report provides analysis of one of the most topical developments in international higher education. It includes a full list of known IBCs in operation, along with data on year established, degrees and programs offered, and (where available) student numbers. It also lists all known IBCs currently in development and those recently closed. IBCs are discussed within a broader framework of cross-border higher education activity.

Summary Findings booklet
(For members)

Headline findings


 This report is available to members, and otherwise for sale. If you need a reminder of your log-in details, or if you would like more information about membership, please contact



10 February 2017

Online Higher Education in the United States-
An Observatory Analysis

Richard Garrett, Director, OBHE

To kick off the Observatory’s series of national overviews of online higher education, it is fitting to start with the United States of America. The world’s largest economy is home to many computing and Internet pioneers, individuals as well as companies, and led the so-called e-learning boom during the dotcom era in the late 1990s. No country has had more experience with the rhetoric and reality of online learning.

So, in 2017, what does online higher education look like in the US, twenty years on? One indication that online learning is well-established is the fact the federal government, since 2012, has required all colleges and universities eligible for federal student funding to report the number of students studying wholly or partly through distance learning.

Full article available for members.


2 February 2017

A Chinese perspective on the GAO report on freedoms at US university campuses in China

Xiaozhou (Emily) Zhou, OBHE Associate
Lecturer, Shanghai International Studies University

With the growing number of U.S. universities setting up branches or academic programs in China, there is some concern among U.S. legislators about how such operations are funded, and the about the rights and freedoms enjoyed by U.S. universities.

In August 2016, on congressional request, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on these matters. A list of 225 “cooperative education programs” in China, involving 133 U.S. universities, approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education, is given in the appendix. The report examines a sample of 12 U.S. universities partnered with Chinese universities to establish degree-granting institutions in China, and employed document review, a questionnaire, campus visits and interviews with university administrators.

U.S. universities reviewed include big names such as Carnegie Mellon, Duke and NYU and less-known institutions with a longstanding China presence, such as Fort Hays State University and Kean University. Chinese partner universities include Shanghai Jiao Tong, East China Normal and Henan.

Full article available for members.


26 January 2017

Knowledge Creators or Knowledge Hijackers?
Plagiarism in International Education

Dr Christopher Hill
OBHE Associate
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, The British University in Dubai

Plagiarism is increasingly an issue of contention in higher education. As international programming continues to grow, this topic requires close attention. Key questions arise regarding the quality and transparency of teaching methods, standards and standardization of approach, expectations and explanations on the nature of knowledge creation and dissemination. The pressure of student recruitment, language capabilities and systemic capacity play a role in academia’s ability to ensure the integrity of its provision and output. Within the field of transnational education, these issues are more acute.

This article will look at the role of TNE in the UAE, with a particular focus on Dubai.

Full article available for members.





News analysis archive

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OBHE Publications

Our research agenda focuses on topics that have current and future relevance to transnational higher education, and our reports provide in-depth analysis of the latest developments, trends and challenges in borderless higher education. By synthesising the latest international developments, the research reports assess their wider implications for higher education leaders and policy makers.

The Observatory publishes original in-house research reports on themes that challenge the 'traditional' boundaries of higher education, and particularly those expected to impact the core business of universities and colleges.

The Observatory also commissions internationally renowned authors to prepare substantive reports on key issues in borderless higher education with specific national, regional and/or international perspectives. The issues are both timely and provocative, challenging institutional leaders in their thinking and understanding of topics critical to strategic planning. Authors draw on their experience and expertise to provide insight into a wide diversity of international experience.

View all reports     Articles     View sample report       Reports & articles (sampler)


The Observatory's full archive of News Headlines, Articles, and Reports is available on an unlimited basis to subscribers only.

Individual reports are also available to non-subscribers.Electronic versions of reports can be purchased through a publications search, where publication details are on view.

Certain limited articles are also available for purchase. Please note, however, that an institutional subscription provides more value for money.

To learn about the Observatory's breadth of coverage, search our publications archive.

Forthcoming Events


1-3 March 2017: Universities Australia Higher Education Conference, Canberra, AUSTRALIA

5-9 March 2017:  The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference,'Problematizing (In)Equality: The Promise of Comparative and International Education', Atlanta, Georgia, USA

6-9 March 2017: African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) Conference and General Assembly at Open University of Sudan, Khartoum, SUDAN

8-10 March 2017:  Open Education Consortium & the University of Cape Town Open Education Global Conference, 'Open for Participation', Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

10-11 March 2017:  International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) International Conference, Pune, INDIA

14 March 2017:  i-graduate and Hotcourses Group, 'International Student: Attraction & Engagement Summit', Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA (for details please contact

14-16 March 2017:  Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit, 'Forging the Future – Building Stronger Alliances between Universities and Industry', Ulsan, KOREA

21 March 2017:  Universities UK 'International Higher Education Forum', London, UK

19-22 March 2017:  IIE, 5th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

20-21 March 2017:  Oxford Education Research Symposium, Oxford, UK

20-23 March 2017: APAIE Conference and Exhibition, Kaohsiung, TAIWAN

26-29 March 2017: The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2017 (ACEID), Kobe, JAPAN

27-28 March 2017:  Global Summit on Education (GSE), 'Trends and Challenges in Education', Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

2-5 April 2017:  American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) Annual Meeting,  Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

4 April 2017:  Westminster Higher Education Forum, The future of Modern Foreign Languages in Higher Education, London, UK

5-7 April 2017:  CANeLearn Symposium and BC Digital Learning Conference, 'Blending Boundaries – Leading Digital Disruption, Innovation and Equitable Learning', Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA

5-7 April 2017: Times Higher Education Young Universities Summit, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA

6-7 April 2017:  EUA 2017 Annual Conference, 'Autonomy and freedom: The future sustainability of universities, Bergen, NORWAY

10-11 April 2017:  Association of University Administrators (AUA) Conference and Exhibition at the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

12-15 April 2017:  2017 International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE), 'Saudi Universities and Vision 2030 – Knowledge Is the Oil of the Future', Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA

19-20 May 2017:  NUFFIC International Conference on 'Education for life in Africa', The Hague, NETHERLANDS

22-24 May 2017:  British Council, 'Going Global 2017', London, UK

22-25 April 2017:  American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention, 'Community Colleges – America’s North Star', New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

2-4 May 2017:  QS Middle East and Africa Professional Leaders in Education Conference and Exhibition (MAPLE), 'The Future of Higher Education in the Middle East and Africa', Dubai, UAE

10-12 May 2017:  International Conference on Globalisation and Issues of Higher Education, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

11-14 May 2017:  International Eurasian Educational Research Congress, 'Changing Times, Changing Needs – E-Education, Equality, Immigration and Differences', Denizli, TURKEY

22-26 May 2017:  European MOOCs Stakeholders Summit, 'EMOOCs - Digital Education – Out to the World and Back to the Campus', Madrid, SPAIN

May 28 – June 2 2017:  NAFSA Conference, 'Expanding Community, Strengthening Connections', Los Angeles, California, USA

8-9 June 2017:  European Commission's International Conference on the Future of Education, Florence, ITALY

13-16 June 2017:  European Distance and e-Learning Network (EDEN) Annual Conference: 'Diversity Matters', Jönköping, SWEDEN

28-29 June 2017:  International AHE Conference, Manchester, UK

4-6 July 2017:  Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 2017 Generation TEF: Teaching in the spotlight, Manchester, UK

7-9 July 2017:  British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Conference: 'Educational Leadership for a Global Society – Challenges, Dilemmas and Ways Forward', Ettington Chase, Stratford-on-Avon, UK

23-24 August 2017:  The Singapore Education Technology Conference (SETC 2017), SINGAPORE

12-15 September 2017:  EAIE 2017, 'A Mosaic of Cultures', Seville, SPAIN

18-20 September 2017:  International Conference on e-Learning and e-Technologies in Education (ICEEE), Lodz, POLAND

11-13 October 2017: Conference of the Americas on International Education, Montreal, CANADA

12-14 October 2017:  Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), 'Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: Higher Education’s Role in Addressing Global Crises', New Orleans, USA

17-19 October 2017:  27th International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference, Toronto, CANADA

18-20 October 2017:  IAU 2017 International Conference,'Leadership for a changing public-private funding higher education landscape', Accra, GHANA

26-27 October 2017:  European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL), Porto, PORTUGAL

2-4 November 2017:  Global  Access to Postsecondary Education (GAPS)2nd World Congress on Global Access to Postsecondary Education: Working Together for a Democratized Postsecondary Education, São Paulo, BRAZIL

14-16 November 2017:  MENA Higher Education Leadership Forum: 'Strengthening the Dialogue between Higher Education, Government and Industry – Working Together towards a Common Vision', Dubai, UAE

23-25 November 2017:  European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF), Riga, LATVIA

View Past Events and Conference Presentations

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International Branch Campuses
Trends & Developments 2016

by the OBHE & C-BERT

Summary Findings booklet
(For members)

Headline findings






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