The Observatory's 2012 Global Forum

New Players and New Directions:

The Challenges of International Branch Campus Management

                         Draft Programme available here.

Prince Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
24-26 April 2012

The call for proposals is now closed

Are international branch campuses a long-term investment worth making for universities? The Observatory's 2012 Global Forum in Kuala Lumpur will help to answer this question.

The 2012 Global Forum is built around the Observatory's new report: 'International Branch Campuses: Data and Developments'. This new report, with six annexes of primary data, was published in January 2012.

The 2012 Global Forum is designed to facilitate discussion and debate with the world's leading practitioners of international branch campuses (IBCs). Participants will learn about what works, what has not, and the practical considerations involved in planning and operating campuses in other countries - pedagogical, managerial, financial, and legal. These debates will be informed by representatives of governments that incorporate IBCs and 'education hubs' in their national economic development strategies.

The Global Forum will also provide a platform for academics and non-practitioner stakeholders who are keen to analyse and evaluate the IBC phenomenon critically with practitioners and fellow scholars.

To go to the Registration page, click  HERE.

Some prominent higher education institutions are clear that IBCs are not part of their plans, but the Observatory's new report illustrates that for a steadily growing number of institutions, they are. At this Forum, university representatives will determine the extent to which IBCs represent a viable business proposition within their own internationalisation strategies and cross-border activities.

The new report also demonstrates that a shift in IBC activity toward the Far East is underway; as such, it reflects the world's current geopolitical transformation. But does that necessarily point the way for every HE institution? The report also notes that much of the new activity is also intra-regional - for example, within Asia or Africa.

Not all branch campuses are the same - in fact, it seems that no two are alike in terms of arrangements on how teaching is delivered, the role of local partners, and support from host governments. A diversity of such arrangements will be represented at the Global Forum and will provide a basis for practical comparison.

To go to the Registration page, click  HERE.

Summary of objectives:

  • To critically evaluate the latest data on, and unfolding landscape of, international branch campuses (IBCs), as conveyed in the Observatory's new report,
  • To participate in discussions with existing and potential practitioners about starting and operating IBCs,
  • To engage with government officials from existing and prospective host countries on how IBCs fit with their national economic and developmental strategies and goals.


Over the two days of the Global Forum, the format will combine plenary presentations and seminars with a series of expert panel discussions on the practicalities of starting and operating IBCs. Rapporteurs from each panel will come together in a subsequent plenary session to report on and discuss the issues and questions raised.

Who should attend?

  • Universities and colleges

            - Senior management
            - Branch-campus Heads, Deans or CEOs
            - International Office Directors and equivalents
            - Heads of Strategy Units

  • Governments (legislators and officials) of countries engaged in IBCs or considering such engagement
  • Policy-makers and government officials with responsibility for 'education hub' initiatives,
  • Academics who teach or research in HE internationalisation,
  • Partner Companies for IBCs - Directors and Deputy Directors
  • Other stakeholders in higher education with an interest in IBCs

Participating institutions include:

     •    Albukhary International University
     •    Curtin Sarawak    
EPFL Middle East
     •    HEC Paris
     •    Eversheds LLP
     •    The Parthenon Group
     •    Heriot-Watt University
     •    INTO
Middlesex University
     •    Manipal University
     •    SUNY Albany
     •    SUNY Buffalo
     •    NUMed Malaysia
Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
     •    Stenden University of Applied Science
     •    UCL
     •    University of Surrey
     •    University of Nottingham
     •    University of Reading
     •    University of Southampton
•     Victoria University    
•     Westminster International University in Tashkent

     •    Chinese Education Association for International Exchange    
     •    EduCity@Iskandar, Malaysia
     •    Government of Malaysia - MoHE    
     •    Government of Singapore - MoE    
     •    Qatar Foundation

There is an early-bird discount rate until 16 March as well as discounted rates for Observatory members.

To go to the Registration page, click  HERE.