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Title International Branch Campuses: Scale & Significance
Author Richard Garrett - The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education


The international branch campus is not a new phenomenon. A number of universities, particularly from the United States, have longstanding branch campuses overseas. What is innovative about recent developments is the focus of branch campuses abroad. The established American model typically features a very small international centre dedicated to short stay, study abroad arrangements. Examples include Stanford University which has study centres in nine cities around the world, and Georgetown University with ‘campuses’ in Italy and Turkey (taking only 20-25 students each per semester). The new model of the international branch campus is concerned primarily with local recruitment rather than international experience for domestic students; specifically local recruitment in nations with inadequate indigenous higher education capacity. Examples include University of Nottingham Malaysia, RMIT University Vietnam and Monash University in South Africa.

Branch campuses deepen universities’ commitment to international provision, moving away from dependence on local partners for delivery and towards a corporate presence. Given controversy over examples of poor quality franchising, branch campuses offer a number of advantages, including firmer corporate control, higher local profile and an innovative way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This report makes an initial assessment of the scale of activity, discusses rationale and wider significance. Excluded, with some exceptions, are international branch campuses in the developed world (e.g. Webster University’s European campuses, American Intercontinental University’s London campus and the Thunderbird business school’s French campus). To the Observatory’s knowledge, this is the first such report to do so.

Date 01/06/2002
Region(s) All Regions
Countries International
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models
Topic(s) Branch Campuses

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