Redefining Transnational Education

This is the slide deck I presented at the AIEC 2013 in Canberra last week.

The key message is that traditional notions of internationalisation are likely to break down as capacity grows in emerging economies and the cost of studying overseas escalates. The growth in international higher education enrolments is forecast to decline between now and 2020,  There is also an expectation that the flow of international students is more likely to be intraregional as, for these students (‘glocals’), there are fewer obstacles to mobility (e.g. within the EU or ASEAN).

Does this mean that with fewer students travelling we can expect a less internationalised landscape as a consequence? My sense is that this will not be the case and that transnational education (TNE) options will multiply if universities — awakened from their slumber by the ‘MOOC movement’ — become more sophisticated in the way they digitise and deliver their course offerings.

The branch campus may have had its day given the risk and associated expense, but there are opportunities for universities in established markets like the US, UK, Australia and Canada if they ‘unbundle’ their curricula and seek new ways to leverage their intellectual property. Rather than supply the hardware (bricks-and-mortar in country), innovative use of the software (online delivery into a partner institution) may be a lower cost and lower risk option.