April 9, 2013, by Graham Kendall

Can branch campuses, and education hubs, compete in a global market? Have your say!

While working on another project (and doing the always required literature review) I came across the two papers shown at the end of this post. I have shown the abstracts, and you can access the full papers via the DOI link (I can’t post full copies of the paper for reasons of copyright).

It seems to me that this is the type of paper that we should be able to write (quite easily?), given our unique position, and also the fact that we have been doing this for over 12 years.

I know that Knowledge Without Borders (and their blog) work in this area and I wonder if there are (further) opportunities for us to collect data and draw on our experience to write papers based what we have done since being in Malaysia?

I also think that it is important that, when the historical record of branch campuses is available, that the University of Nottingham features in that record, and for that to happen, we have to be proactive in producing that record.

If anybody would like to be involved in these type of papers (and I include Professional Services in this invite) please contact either Knowledge Without Borders, or me, and we’ll see what ideas we have and how they can be developed.


Wilkins S. and Huisman J. (2011). Student Recruitment at International Branch Campuses: Can They Compete in the Global Market?, Journal of Studies in International Education, 15(3):299-316, DOI: 10.1177/1028315310385461

Abstract: The majority of international branch campuses are located in competitive higher education hubs, such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Many find themselves having to recruit students regionally, and some, even globally, which results in them competing head-to-head with the home campuses of well-respected Western universities. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors influencing the decision of international students to study at a particular university in the United Kingdom and to investigate their attitudes toward international branch campuses. The study involved a self-completed questionnaire administered to 160 international students. A logit model was developed that was able to significantly predict whether an individual student would consider study at an international branch campus. Reputation, quality of programmes, and rankings were found to be the strongest influences on student choice of institution, suggesting that these are the factors that international branch campuses should focus on to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.


Knight J. (2011). Education Hubs: A Fad, a Brand, an Innovation?, Journal of Studies in International Education, 15(3):221-240, DOI: 10.1177/1028315311398046

The last decade has seen significant changes in all aspects of internationalization but most dramatically in the area of education and research moving across national borders. The most recent developments are education hubs. The term education hub is being used by countries who are trying to build a critical mass of local and foreign actors—including students, education institutions, companies, knowledge industries, science and technology centers—who, thorough interaction and in some cases colocation, engage in education, training, knowledge production, and innovation initiatives. It is understood that countries have different objectives, priorities, and take different approaches to developing themselves as a reputed center for higher education excellence, expertise, and economy. However, given higher education’s current preoccupation with competitiveness, global branding, and rankings, one is not sure whether a country’s plan to develop itself as an education hub is a fad, the latest branding strategy, or in fact, an innovation worthy of investment and serious attention. This article reviews and compares the developments in six countries which claim to be an education hub. It explores the meaning of education hub, introduces a working definition, and proposes a typology of three kinds of education hubs as follows: student hub, skilled work force hub, and knowledge/innovation hub. Furthermore, it identifies issues requiring further research and reflection on whether hubs are a fad, a brand or an innovation worthy of serious attention and investment.


Header Image: Tiffany Education (CC 3.0): See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tiffany_Education.JPG for image



Posted in DisseminationResearch at UNMC