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    The new faces of transnational education

    An international joint university or binational university is an independent higher education institution established through partnership between foreign universities and host country institutions or government. In addition, it is to be registered as a public or private university with the host government.

    There are different models of international joint universities. The German binational model involves the signing of a memorandum of understanding between two parties. While funding models may differ, a consortium of German universities will typically work with the binational institutions to develop new programmes, policies and practices.

    On the contrary, the China and Vietnam governments carried out alternative models, varying partnership and funding arrangements with the partnering countries. While there is no one standard model for this initiative, it is distinct that a new independent university is established through international university-government partnerships.

    The objectives of the collaborations vary for foreign partners and host countries.

    In the case of the host countries, they can include:

    • Increasing access for students;
    • Providing niche programmes;
    • Geo-political purposes;
    • Using joint universities as ‘lighthouse institutions’ for innovation and good practice around governance, knowledge production, quality assurance, funding and pedagogy;
    • Overall modernisation and internationalisation of the higher education system.

    While for the foreign partners, they involve:

    • International branding;
    • Opportunities for faculty and staff mobility experiences;
    • Establishing a foreign base for research and innovation;
    • Recruitment of postgraduate students;
    • Internationalisation of programmes and teaching and learning;
    • Geo-political relations.

    Further, there are varying approaches towards the implementation of programmes due to the differing policies and regulations of the host and partner countries. However, the fundamental approaches being integrated include:

    • A joint or double degree programme;
    • A programme or qualification offered solely by one of the founding partners;
    • A programme or qualification offered by the newly founded joint institution.

    Looking to the future

    Transnational education, now also known as the international programme and provide mobility (IPPM), is rapidly broadening in reach. However, with the increasing IPPM enrolments, new forms of partnerships and rising unforeseen consequences, greater scrutiny is needed for the initiative in terms of national and institutional policy development, data collection, joint governance, monitoring and quality assurance etc.

    More research and trend analysis will be needed to be given to IPPM to ensure that international joint universities are not confused with other modes of IPPM.

    Source: University World News

    Join us at the upcoming QS-APPLE 2018 in Seoul, Korea from 21-23 November 2018 as we discuss the topic on “Future Universities in the Asia-Pacific: The Changing Face of Higher Education”.

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