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China catching up in transnational education

Whether it is through partnership programmes with universities abroad, licensing arrangements or the establishment of overseas campuses – China is becoming increasingly popular as a location for transnational education programmes. Transnational education programmes are an alternative for students seeking an international qualification without having to renounce to the comfort of their usual environment or raising the money which a study abroad period usually entails. Many Western universities are in fact expanding overseas, be it through above-mentioned programmes or campuses, in order to meet the demands of those students.

A number of UK universities already established partnership programmes and joint degrees with Chinese partner universities, such as the University of Nottingham, which opened an overseas campus in 2004 in Ningbo, near Shanghai. This August, the first Sino-U.S. university has also welcomed its very first students, who will officially start the academic year from September onwards. The newly established New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) is located in Pudong, the financial centre of Shanghai, and is going to start its official course programme after completion of this month’s orientation programme. NYU Shanghai has been established in cooperation between New York University and East China Normal University. The Duke Kunshan University, another soon-to-be Sino-US university cooperation between Duke University and Wuhan University, is expected to begin its academic programme in 2014.

However, UK and U.S. universities are not the only ones to inaugurate overseas campuses. The Chinese Soochow University is currently offering offshore programmes in Laos and negotiations between Imperial College London and Zhejiang University for an overseas campus in Malaysia (Xiamen University) and a campus in London are on-going. Consequently, higher education programmes in form of transnational education cannot only be seen as a typically and exclusively ‘Western’ export'. China is no less keen to benefit from the demands of transnational education.

NYU Shanghai Duke Kunshan University Imperial College London