To Judge International Branch Campuses, We Need to Know Their Goals
By Richard J. Edelstein and John Aubrey Douglass
The international branch campus phenomenon is relatively new, generating much news coverage and capturing the interest of many university presidents. But what is a branch campus? What kind of impact does it have on the home university in terms of its core functions of teaching and learning, research, and service to the larger society and the world? Does it change the campus culture and operations back home? In the case of the United States, thus far, the majority of branch-campus initiatives are conceived of at prestigious private universities—although with a number of important exceptions. Why is that? Just as importantly, how do universities evaluate and decide on a physical presence in some distant global marketplace?