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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



8 March 2017

The impact of the Brexit vote on foreign students studying in the UK

Will Archer, Founder, i-graduate

All of us in the world of education will remember where we were the morning of 24th June 2016. The first email I received was from a colleague in the deep south of New South Wales.  The shock waves had travelled across the world and back while most Brits were still sleeping - some no doubt still dreaming of ever-closer union.

It was a proper vote with a proper turnout: more than 77% of the UK adult population had marked a cross in a box.  17,410,742 had voted to leave.  After hours of headshaking disbelief, the most highly educated (that’s most of us in this field) began to acknowledge the enormity of the decision.

Denial turned to anger at the stupidity of 52% of the electorate.  Then very slowly, over some weeks, recognition that the educated, the advantaged, the privileged and the worldly-wise had failed.  In two major ways.

Article and accompanying ISB Data Sheet are open access.


8 March 2017

Online Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates -
An Observatory Analysis

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

Over the past two decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made big investments in bricks-and-mortar institutions, including foreign branch campuses. Indeed, a physical campus is a prerequisite for any foreign provider to operate in the country. UAE has become the leading regional hub but very much premised on physical location and unique infrastructure. So is there any role for distance learning?

Full article available for members.


2 March 2017

Perspectives and Prospects as long-awaited TNE Bill is approved in the Netherlands

Rosa Becker, Senior Researcher, Netherlands organisation for internationalisation of education (Nuffic)

After two years in the making and a heated policy debate, the Dutch House of Representatives – the Lower House of Parliament – has passed a Bill that will further encourage international joint programme development and allow Dutch higher education institutions to start offering full Dutch degree programmes abroad. The Bill is now passed on for a vote in the Senate – the Upper House of Parliament – which has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals (but not to amend them). Pending Senate approval, an administrative decree is expected to be published in the summer, filling in the details and general conditions of the proposed legislation. This decree will be subject to a government vote as well (by a new government coalition, following general elections this March).

This article aims to give an overview of the main TNE (transnational education) points that the Bill covers, and to indicate the initial resistance around strong points of concern and the reasons the Bill has been approved. The concluding paragraph hints at prospects for Dutch TNE development. The Bill also covers other aspects in support of internationalisation of higher education, but TNE is a core focus.

This article reflects my personal views and does not reflect the opinions of Nuffic.





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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.

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Forthcoming Events


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

19-21 April 2017:  5th Annual Combating Education Irregularities & Examination Fraud Summit 2017, 'Combating Fraud and Enhancing Integrity for the Promotion of Quality and Credibility in Higher Education', Contact AMC for reservations: Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

22-26 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

1-2 June 2017:  ENQA Workshop hosted by QQI, 'Exploring Synergies Between Quality Assurance and Qualifications Recognition', Dublin, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

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 November 2017:  Westminster Higher Education Forum, 'Next steps for developing the 2021 Research Excellence Framework', London, ENGLAND

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

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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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