Document Details

Title The International Branch Campus - Models and Trends
Author Line Verbik, Cari Merkley - The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education


The number of international branch campuses has increased significantly over the past decade. This study, which is an update of the Observatory’s report from 2002, shows that whilst American institutions continue to dominate this type of overseas delivery, institutions from more and more countries are engaging in branch campus development. Driving rationales for sending institutions include full control over delivery, the desire to stand out in an increasingly competitive transnational education market, more opportunities for external funding and changing regulations in some host countries.

The sites for branch campus operations are becoming equally diverse, although findings point to a higher level of activity in countries where financial incentives are provided. Whereas earlier operations were established primarily from internal resources, many operations initiated over the past decade have received support from governments or other public or private organisations. This report has identified three main approaches to establishing offshore campuses: self-funded, in receipt of external funding and through provided facilities. The operations included in this report are more or less equally divided between the three models, however the latter two are more commonly found amongst newer establishments.

Whilst an increasing number of institutions opt for providing their offshore programmes through branch campuses and host country regulations in the future may encourage this type of provision, this paper is not suggesting that they are likely to dominate transnational provision in the foreseeable future. Branch campus developments remain large-scale, resource intensive operations carrying significant risks as well as opportunities, and will not be a feasible or indeed attractive option for all or even a majority of institutions engaged in transnational provision.

Date 01/10/2006
Region(s) North America
Countries United States
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models
Topic(s) Branch Campuses

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