the role of international strategic alliances in higher education: a new zealand perspective

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In the early stages of internationalisation, universities have typically focused on international student recruitment and accumulating large numbers of bilateral international university partnerships. Often these partnerships had little strategic value other than as a response to pressure to internationalise. Frequently these partnerships went no further than signatures on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and were not operationalised in any way. While the stated intent of such MoUs was often promoting research collaboration and cooperation, this was rarely communicated to the faculty members who could have made this a reality. In recent years, a number of global university networks have been established, many of which now have waiting lists of potential members. This session will provide an overview of the different types of university networks and institutional partnerships being established across the world and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative models. It will also consider the benefits associated with membership of a global network, as opposed to institutions developing alliances with a more specific focus. Additionally, institutional strategies aimed at encouraging widespread participation and involvement in these partnerships across the university and beyond the international office will be discussed. Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) 5th Annual Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, April 2010


  • 1. Asia Pacific Association for International Education 2010The role of international strategic alliances inhigher education: a New Zealand perspectiveProfessor Nigel HealeyPro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Canterbury

2. Overview of Part I Strategic Alliances 101 Forms of international cooperation vs non-commercial Benefits and costs of each form Small or large networks? Conclusions Gold Coast 2010 3. Forms of international cooperation Uppsala sequencing model drawn from theliterature on the internationalisation Exporting The Licensing production third Joint ventures/strategic alliances wave Foreign direct investment How well does higher education fit this model?Gold Coast 2010 4. The Uppsala sequence in highereducation Exporting educational services = providing education toforeign students by teaching students on home campusor pure distance Licensing production = licensing a foreign partner -McDonaldization of higher education Third wave = offshore campuses, part or wholly-ownedby universities, for-profit providers riding third wavethrough acquisitions (Doha trade round) Gold Coast 2010 5. How useful is this model for explaininguniversities international cooperation? Universities mix of public, not-for-profit and for-profit Uppsala explains the behaviour of for-profit universitiesand mixed systems like UK, Australia and New public universities with private dimensions Does not capture other dimensions of universitiesactivities in terms of mission, government policy, non-commercial goals Excludes cooperative activities in terms of: Faculty and student exchange Joint teaching programmes Research partnerships Gold Coast 2010 6. Benefits and costs of Uppsalapartnership-based cooperation (1) Franchising Benefit: income generating Cost: seen as exploitative, principal-agent problems, misaligned strategic goals, time-limited Third Wave Benefit: income generating, reach new student markets; build brand internationally Cost: high risk, often built on faulty business models, potential reputational damage Gold Coast 2010 7. Benefits and costs of non-commercialpartnership-based cooperation (2) Student/faculty exchange Benefit: creates international learning opportunities Cost: expensive, may get little meaningful Dual degrees Benefit: income generating, reach new student markets; build brand internationally Cost: high risk, misalignment of partners objectives, quality assurance issues Research partnerships Benefit: economies of scale/scope, brand/profile Costs: top-down, little real collaboration Gold Coast 2010 8. Bilateral versus multilateralcooperation Increasing economies of scale and scope A single thread cant make a chord, nor a single tree aforest versus increasing coordination and management costs Parallel is between bilateral free trade agreements andmultilateral trade negotiations (eg, New Zealand China FTA versus WTO Doha Round) Gold Coast 2010 9. Multilateral cooperation: aneconomists perspective$ Marginal cost (coordination costs)standardisationMarginal (economies of scale)Costs of researchequipment, facultycommunication technologies,standardisationsize of networkN*Gold Coast 2010 10. Multilateral cooperation: amanagement perspective HighCountry ClubInvestment Bank Low Coordination BoutiqueFast FoodLowEconomies of scale HighGold Coast 2010 11. Multilateral cooperation: amanagement perspective HighSocratesUniversitas 21 Low Coordination UMAPLaureateLSE/NYU/HKU Astronomy Low Economies of scale HighGold Coast 2010 12. Conclusions The increase of international partnerships partlyexplained by sequential model of internationalisation but range of other motives for in terms of universities missions Good partnerships can transform learning experiencefor students, open up new possibilities for collaborativeresearch Need to be managed carefully to ensure return oninvestment, not presidents vanity Final thought: is global warming a growing threat totraditional models of international partnership? Gold Coast 2010


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