The emergence of world and off-shore universities and other cross-border higher education

Brian Denman


This presentation considers the emergence of world universities, which are defined as degree-granting institutions that wholly concentrate on scholarly themes of global relevance and cater to an internationally diverse student body. It also attempts to identify those institutions that are hosted by a country but which are not established for the purpose of sharing the host’s national or cultural character. These institutions include cross-border higher education entities which are characterised as institutions of higher education that have undergone the ‘multinationalisation’ process. This process defines academic programs and/or institutions from one country which are offered in other countries (Altbach 2004: 3). Both types of entities can be traced back to specific instances during periods of colonialism, but the majority of these developed only after the end of World War II. The narrative further considers how current geographic, financial, and competitive factors may have affected their establishment. Related research is described which considers the interplay of globalisation and internationalisation forces upon higher education and which identifies a typology of multinationalisation programs. The over-all analysis raise  significant issues to be considered by universities interested in developing global themes and offshore operations.

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