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education hubs international


The forces and opportunities of globalization have dramatically impacted higher education, especially cross-border education . The term cross-border education is often used interchangeably with the terms transnational education , borderless education , and international academic mobility . Cross-border education is the preferred term for this chapter and refers to the mobility of people, programs, providers, projects, and policies between and among countries. Studies of higher education shows that international academic mobility is fundamental to the mission of universities (Altbach, ). Scholars and knowledge have been moving around the world for centuries. The fact that the notion of universe is the root concept for university is strong evidence of the internationality of higher education.
There is no question that the landscape of cross-border higher education has changed significantly in the past three decades. It is no longer just students and scholars who are moving to other countries for education opportunities. Academic programs, education institutions, and new providers are moving across borders to deliver education and training programs in foreign countries. New actors, new international partnerships, new binational universities, and new modes of program delivery characterize the dynamic and expanding area of cross-border higher education.
International education hubs are the latest development. Labeled the third generation of cross-border education, they build on the first generation of student mobility and the second generation of program and provider mobility. Education hubs can be at the country, zone, or city level and involve a critical mass of and collaboration between international-local universities, students, research institutes, and private industry. This chapter will focus on the country level hubs, of which there are six in the world—Botswana, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates (Knight, ).
Important to recognize is that an education hub reflects a country’s plan and priority to serve and be recognized as a center of education expertise, excellence, and economic activity in the region and beyond. Education hub countries have different objectives and characteristics, but in general the term education hub is used by countries seeking to position themselves as centers for student recruitment, education and training, research, and innovation. A variety of factors are driving these efforts and include modernizing the domestic tertiary education system, generating income, creating a skilled work force, remaining or becoming economically competitive, developing a regional profile, promoting knowledge diplomacy, and transitioning to a knowledge- and service-based economy (Knight, ).
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the phenomenon of education hubs within the context of three generations of cross-border education1. Framing education hubs as the third generation makes it possible to analyze the evolution of education hubs in respect to both the growing numbers of students moving to another country for their academic studies and the more recent boom in the number and types of programs and in provider mobility, including twinning programs, international joint-, double-, or multiple-degree programs, branch campuses, internationally cofounded institutions, and franchise universities (Knight, ).
This chapter has four objectives. The first is to position and analyze education hubs within the frame of three generations of cross-border higher education. The second objective is to conceptually analyze the phenomenon by proposing a definition and a typology of the three major types of education hubs—student, talent, and knowledge–innovation. The third is to identify highlights of six current education hub countries in Southeast Asia , Africa, and the Gulf states by using the proposed typology to categorize them. Finally, the fourth is to examine how education hubs relate to the two previous generations of cross-border education activities in terms of geographic outreach and impact.

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