Accepted Paper:

Transnational Higher Education in Africa: The Case Study of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology  


Alexandra Samokhvalova (Goethe-University Frankfurt )

Paper short abstract:

By focusing on the case of a Malaysian private university’s branch campuses in Africa, this paper explores the potential benefits and risks of foreign branch campuses on the continent and discusses the shift of transnational higher education landscape from the global north to south.

Paper long abstract:

Transnational higher education (TNHE) has been growing rapidly, bringing with it high hopes and expectations of benefits for institutions in the countries of origin and destination. With its rapid economic development, high population growth and resulting increase in demand for quality higher education, Africa is becoming an emerging market for cross-border higher education activities, including international branch campuses. This paper explores the case of a Malaysian university's branch campuses in African countries. Being the only non-African institution with branch campuses in more than one country on the continent, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology constitutes a special but almost completely unexplored phenomenon.

First, the paper identifies the main rationale and objectives driving a Malaysian university to enter African market, and its current scope of activities on the continent. Second, it focuses on the impact of Limkokwing branch campuses for receiving countries in Africa. The findings of this paper highlight the importance of a national TNHE regulatory framework and institutional level policies, which will ensure the quality of international branch campuses and relevance of the offered education to local needs and priorities. Additionally, the paper urges future research to look closer at the cases of Malaysia and other Asian countries that are "branching out" to set up campuses in Africa, and by doing so shifting the transnational higher education landscape from the global north to south.

Panel P006
Africa and Higher Education - A Transnational Perspective