University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Universities branch out abroad

Steep upturn in number of overseas campuses

Growing numbers of universities have decided to award degrees from overseas campuses. This is according to the education news website

The number of international branch campuses has risen 43 per cent in just three years according to a recent study by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, a British research institute.

Branch campuses are overseas offshoots of a university that offer a range of full programs, rather than short study abroad experiences.

The majority of students of branch universities are either residents of the host country or a third country.

Financial incentives to universities

Anglophone countries lead the way in overseas university offshoots, led by the US with 78 out of a total of 162 overseas campuses, according to the report.

The top host country for branch universities is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its high demand for education stems from a desire to decrease its dependence on the oil industry.

The wealthy nation offers attractive financial incentives and support packages for foreign universities who choose to set up a campus there.

Controversy over standards

Much of the growth in overseas branch universities has been in Asia with Singapore ranking as the top host nation.

Australia is also a popular destination for universities branching out abroad.

The branch university concept is however not without controversy. The overseas campuses of a number of universities have been attacked for having low academic standards compared to their home universities.