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International branch campuses: Data and developments

Lawton, W., & Katsomitros, A. International branch campuses: Data and developments. The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, Redhill, 2012. Pages: 88.

The newest publication of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) is OBHE’s fourth survey report on international branch campuses (IBCs). Based on data collected from IBCs globally during the second half of 2011, the report describes the latest trends in the development of international branch campuses worldwide and provides a wealth of primary data on the location, year of opening, subjects and degree programmes offered, the number of undergraduate and postgraduate students, target markets, tuition fees, as well as the list of planned and closed IBCs. An interactive online world map accompanies the report.

Definitions of IBCs are discussed at length in the report, with a degree-awarding component and dedicated physical infrastructure being amongst the most important in this respect. The report highlights that the number of overseas degree-awarding IBCs has reached 200, and another 37 IBCs will open in 2012-2013. American universities generate the greatest number of campuses abroad (78). Also particularly successful in terms of growth rate, are France, which is now a source country for 27 IBCs (12 of which are from the ESMOD International Fashion group), and the United Kingdom. The latter has almost doubled its IBC commitments, from 13 to 25 IBCs (and 8 more at least are underway). In addition, the centre of gravity amongst host countries is shifting from the Middle East to the Far East. South Asia is also arising as a host to a growing number of IBCs. The report provides a snapshot of the key current trends, and is highly recommended for further reading.