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Center for International Higher Education

Cross-Border Higher Education

A Joint Project Between the Center for International Higher Education & the Cross-Border Education Research Team

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Cross-border higher education has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years and continues to grow in quantity, variety, and locale. In response to this trend, the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College and the Cross-Border Education Research Team (C-BERT) at the State University of New York at Albany created this site as a resource for educators interested in cross-border news and research. Under the umbrella of cross-border higher education we include the following: twinning, franchises, dual- and joint-degree programs, international branch campuses, research partnerships and other instances of higher education collaboration crossing national boundaries.

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IHE articles on cross-border higher education



World Economies and the Distribution of International Branch Campuses
Li Zhang, Kevin Kinser and Yunyu Shi

Franchising, Validation, and Branch Campuses in the European Union
Lukas Bischof

The Problems with Cross-Border Quality Assurance
Kevin Kinser and Jason E Lane

Financial Aspects of Offshore Activities
John Fielden

Five Models of International Branch Campus Ownership
Kevin Kinser and Jason Lane

Branch Campuses in China
David A. Stanfield and Qi Wang

Franchising: The McDonaldization of Higher Education
Philip G. Altbach

Foreign Outposts of Colleges and Universities
Kevin Kinser and Jason E. Lane

How Well Are International Branch Campuses Serving Students? 
Stephen Wilkins and Melodena S. Balakrishnan

International Joint- and Double-Degree Programs
Daniel Obst and Matthias Kuder

Two Models of Cross-Border Education
Amy Stambach

Search the CIHE Database for additional IHE articles
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The World View - Inside Higher Ed



1+1 equals less than 2: Sustaining overseas programs
By Liz Reisberg


Another overseas programs appears to be biting the dust. The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is not renewing its contract with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). This brings into question yet again why universities pursue these overseas ventures when they are rarely profitable and difficult to sustain. Read more...


Don't throw out baby...
By Dennis Roberts and David Stanfield


Cross-border education is an emerging industry—not fully understood, and certainly not perfected.  There will be challenges, and even failures. That said, we would earnestly like to see more of those who work in these settings, hosts and partners alike, engaged in shaping the analyses, research and literature about cross-border education. Read more...


Branch Campuses and Cross-Border Education: Asking the Right Questions
By Richard Edelstein


While the issues of sustainability and visibility may seem important, I would argue that the more fundamental question is one of purpose.  Is the project essential to achieving the mission of the home university?  What kind of impact does it have on the home university in terms of its core functions of teaching and learning, research, and service to the larger society and the world? Does it change the campus culture and operations back home? Read more...

Additional World View blog entries


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World Wise - The Chronicle of Higher Education


MOOCs as Neocolonialism: Who Controls Knowledge?
By Philip G. Altbach

MOOC content is based on the American academic experience and pedagogical ideas. By and large, the readings required by most MOOC courses are American or from other Western countries. Many of the courses are in English, and even when lectures and materials are translated into other languages, the content largely reflects the original course. The vast majority of instructors are American. It is likely that more diversity will develop, but the basic content will remain the same. Read more...

How Loyal Are Overseas Branch Campuses to Their Host Countries?
By Jason Lane and Kevin Kinser

International branch campuses, though, seem to have a more flexible sense of place. They are less like a university in a college town and more like a department store in a suburban mall. If the community declines or the market shifts, the university soldiers on; the store has a moving sale. Read more...


Additional World Wise blog entries

Books, Reports, Monographs, and Journal Articles

Cover of The American Style University at Large

Cover of the Journal of Studies in International Education
The American-Style University at Large: Transplants, Outposts, and the Globalization of Higher Education
Edited by Kathryn L. Kleypas and James I. McDougall

An intervention into current discussions concerning the role of the contemporary American-style university in a global context. The editors approach the subject from their own experiences as professors at an American-style university in the Middle East. They pull together essays from an impressively diverse list of contributors which examine the various ways that American models of higher learning have become instituted around the world. The authors then explore ways that these new configurations help to define the university as a force that organizes, develops, and controls methods of education, knowledge, power, and culture.

Legitimacy in Cross- Border Higher Education: Identifying Stakeholders of International Branch Campuses
By Christine A. Farrugia and Jason E. Lane

When colleges and universities set up outposts such as international branch campuses (IBCs) in foreign countries, the literature suggests that the success of that outpost can be tied to its ability to build its own legitimacy. This article investigates the process of legitimacy building by IBCs through identifying who IBCs view as their salient stakeholders and analyzing how IBCs legitimize their international presence to those stakeholders in the home country, host country, regional and global environments.