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Internationalization Through the International Branch Campus: Identifying Opportunities and Risks Open Access

Internationalization Through the International Branch Campus:Identifying Opportunities and Risks Deciding whether or not to open an international branch campus requires that senior leaders at higher education institutions have an understanding of the benefits and risks associated with one of the riskiest forms of internationalization. Three historical waves characterize the modern incarnation of the international branch campus, which began in the 1980s. The benefits and risks for opening an international branch campus have evolved during each wave. The current wave has seen the rise of government-sponsored education hubs where a tight partnership exists between the host country and the foreign higher education provider. Few studies have explored decision-making processes used by higher education institutions when determining whether or not to open an international branch campus. This study provides a deeper understanding of the decision-making process used by Ghent University when choosing to open the Ghent University Global Campus in Songdo, South Korea. Ghent University’s decision demonstrates that the benefits and risks are evolving for international branch campuses. Locating a branch campus in a government-sponsored education hub lowers one of the foremost risks that higher education leaders must address, the financial ones. This case also reveals that benefits are developing to include research opportunities abroad, new employment prospects for postdoctoral students, and support for internationalization activities.

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