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Our 2016 IBC Report is live!

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



8 December 2016

250+ and counting: What does IBC growth tell us about the direction of the phenomenon and its place in CBHE?

Rachael Merola, Sr Researcher, OBHE

There are at least 251 international branch campuses in 72 countries, and around twenty under development. Looking at data from the past decade, IBCs have opened at a consistent pace, with 68 new IBCs opened from 2006-2010 and 68 opened from 2011-present. With an eye to the future, what do the campuses under development tell us about the prospects of this form of cross-border higher education (CBHE)?



15 November 2016

Do universities need to up their game when it comes to support for international students?

Carolyn Walker, Observatory Associate; Consultant in International Higher Education
Former Academic Director at INTO

According to the latest OECD figures, around 5 million students worldwide are studying outside their home country, up 50% between 2005 and 2012. Institutions are increasingly aware that international students have a range of specific social, practical and academic needs. Although all students, whether domestic or international , may find themselves away from home and its support networks and are subject to various stresses and strains as a result, international students face additional challenges. There is certainly no doubt that support for international students in higher education is much better than it was perhaps twenty or even ten years ago. However, with a particular orientation towards higher education in the UK, this article questions whether enough is being done.

Full article available for members.


2 November 2016

The Time is Now: Getting TNE right through data

Doria Abdullah, Observatory Associate
Postdoctoral fellow, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

As programmes, people and institutions move across borders with increasing intensity, data collection about transnational education needs attention.

This article reviews the current state of TNE data and future prospects, using Malaysia as a case study. Prepared as a thought piece leading up to the Observatory’s Global Forum in Kuala Lumpur from 9-11 November 2016, this article makes the case that enhanced data collection will help countries better track and develop their TNE footprint, both at home and abroad. In Malaysia’s case, improved TNE data collection is necessary if the country is to maintain its momentum as a mature TNE market, and an emerging exporter.

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.

‘Snob value’ pushing school-leavers to universities – professor, The Irish Times (Republic of Ireland), 9 December 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping wants country's universities to support the Communist Party, International Business Times, 9 December 2016

Berlin’s ESMT becomes latest university to accept bitcoins for tuition, Brave New Coin, 9 December 2016

Over 2 lakh Indians studying in American universities: Report, Hindustan Times (India), 9 December 2016

Saudi Student Numbers Fall by Nearly 20%, Inside Higher Ed, 9 December 2016

If we're serious about measuring teaching quality at university, where is the metric for qualified teachers?, The Telegraph (UK), 9 December 2016

Older Americans Went Back To School During The Recession. Did It Pay Off?, FiveThirtyEight (USA), 8 December 2016

Andhra Pradesh - AP may replicate Finland model of education, The Hindu (India), 8 December 2016

Mittelmaß als Standortrisiko, Die Welt (Germany), 8 December 2016

More Veterans Use GI Bill Benefits to Study Overseas, US News and World Report, 8 December 2016

The importance of research and its impact on education, Study International News, 8 December 2016

The Japanese university that is going global, Nikkei Asian Review, 8 December 2016




Visit our News Archive

Forthcoming Events


10-13 January 2017:  Regent's University and OBHE 'International Partners Conference - Intercultural Education: Global Citizenship in Changing World Scenarios', London, UK

25 January 2017:  Universities UK and CASE, 'Strategic Fundraising for Leaders in Higher Education, London, UK

2 February 2017:  Westminster Higher Education Forum, 'The future for UK science and innovation funding and policy', London, UK

9 February 2017:  Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar, 'Promoting and regulating competition in the higher education market', London, UK

19-22 February 2017:  AIEA Annual Conference, 'Internationalization Through Difference: Transcending Boundaries', Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23-25 November 2017:  European Quality Assurance Forum, 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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