ANIE Network | The new faces of transnational higher education
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The new faces of transnational higher education

An international joint university, frequently referred to as a binational university, is often confused with an international branch campus. A joint university is an independent higher education institution founded through collaboration between foreign higher education institutions and host country institutions or government.

A good example is the Singapore University of Design and Technology, which was established in 2009 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University and the Singapore Management University. The three partners were carefully chosen to bring different expertise, experiences and perspectives to the new university.

In China, there are several ‘joint venture’ universities. Examples include Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, which was co-founded in 2006 in Suzhou, China, and New York University Shanghai, jointly established by East China Normal University and New York University.

It is important to note that these are independent universities, registered as a public or private higher education institution with the host government. They are not a branch or satellite campus of the foreign partner university and resent being labelled as such.

Different models exist

As with all innovations, different models of international joint universities exist. The German binational model, which has been used to develop new universities in many countries (Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Vietnam, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Indonesia), usually starts with a memorandum of understanding between the governments of the two countries.

While different funding models are used, all binational institutions involve a consortium of German universities collaborating with the newly developed institution to establish new programmes, policies and practices.

China uses a different approach. In accordance with the ‘Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools’, a foreign university must partner with a local Chinese institution to establish joint programmes, colleges or universities.

As of 2017, there are nine joint universities in China based on collaborations between existing Chinese universities and foreign partners from the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Hong Kong and Russia. Continue Reading…

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