The international branch campus as transnational strategy in higher education


Wilkins, S. and Huisman, J., 2012. The international branch campus as transnational strategy in higher education. Higher Education, 64 (5), pp. 627-645.

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    The international branch campus is a phenomenon on the rise, but we still have limited knowledge of the strategic choices underlying the start of these ventures. The objective of this paper is to shed light on the motivations and decisions of universities to engage (or not) with the establishment of international branch campuses. As a point of departure, institutional theory has been selected to frame the potential motives for starting an international branch campus. Secondary literature, including professional journals and university reports and websites, has been analysed to obtain information that alludes to the motivations of universities for adopting particular strategies. It was found that university managements’ considerations can be explained by the concepts of legitimacy, status, institutional distance, risk-taking, risk-avoidance and the desire to secure new sources of revenue. We argue that universities should avoid decisions that are based largely on a single dimension, such as legitimacy, but rather consider a broad spectrum of motivations and considerations.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsWilkins, S.and Huisman, J.
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    DepartmentsSchool of Management
    Research CentresInternational Centre for Higher Education Management (ICHEM)
    Publisher StatementWilkins_Higher-Education_2012.pdf: The original publication is available at;Wilkins_Higher-Education_2012.doc: The original publication is available at
    ID Code29466


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