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International Education Joint Ventures

International education is the two-way flow of students, educators and ideas between countries.

Joint ventures (JVs) are becoming an increasingly important organizational form in international business. Inviting other cultures into communities and classrooms creates opportunities to share ideas, learn more about other cultures and grow the economy. When JVs are formed, valuable learning opportunities may be created for the venture partners.

It appears that a greater number of universities/colleges are establishing pathway programs for international students. While more common in other markets, the joint venture pathway model has not been widely used in the Canada in the past. However, as more Canadian colleges look to expand their internationalization efforts, the business case for pathway partners has become both more compelling and more widely accepted.

Increasingly, higher education institutions are viewing themselves and their mission on a global, rather than simply a national, scale - as, indeed, are their students and academic staff. As a result, many are considering entering into an international joint venture (JV) or partnership, whether that may be through validation of courses run abroad, franchising, the establishment of branch campuses or strategic partnerships for research.

Benefits of international JVs

Research – International partnerships are often designed to leverage research capabilities, carrying the potential for prestigious intellectual and practical advances, as well as attracting world-class students, researchers and academics to the institutions themselves.

Reputation – Establishing an international joint venture can, if managed well, expand the power of the brand, so attracting a higher class of student and academic and expanding access to funding.

Opportunities – Students and academics are increasingly aware of the need for an international outlook. The very best may not settle for operating in one country, but may seek to work with institutions that have a global reach and outlook comparable to their own.

Revenue – Whilst often not the primary motivating factor for international JVs, several of the models available carry the potential to accrue substantial revenues from overseas. In a time of cuts and a static domestic market, and can afford to ignore an extra source of income.

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