The need to be competitive within the international education market has also meant that policy makers and managers in universities are compelled to secure sustainability through income growth generated from international student fees. HE institutions now closely resemble commercial organisations with a focus on income generation, research, decentralised cost centres, marketing, strategic management and bureaucratic structures and control (Cuthbert, 2016). Marketisation and commodification in education and the power of agent to initiate partnerships have contained contradictions as more traditional university roles have been challenged.
This paper discusses the strategies adopted by Australian and Chinese universities in their push for transnational collaborative joint partnerships to achieve long terms goals of education and global learning. A case study is presented that outlines a joint undergraduate early childhood education (ECE) program of both Higher Education (HE) institutions. The Chinese university, in their strategic management aimed to build capacity of their ECE workforce through internationalisation of a collaboration with the Australian university. Whereas, the driving force for the Australian university in the partnership was driven by income and global positioning of the brand. Key stakeholders of both universities are significant influencing factors in the establishment and sustainability of such collaboration and this study explores the strategies, plans and actions implemented. Critics of international development and management argue that “rampant managerialism” is aligned with new waves of economics of “marketization” of Higher Education (HE) in the era of competitive globalisation (Middlehurst, 2013, p. 2016). The existing conflicting interests of the stakeholders from both universities have created challenges and impacted the delivery of the joint program.
The engagement described in this paper includes the perspectives of key stakeholders such as leaders, program manager and academics. Some of the important aspects of management and governance work involve the anticipation of risks, challenges as well the availability of opportunities brought at individual and organisational levels. In examining this partnership through the lens of management, governance and administration, discussion includes challenges and issues surrounding a dual accredited degree awards, deployment of teaching resources and staff welfare and regulatory issues.
This paper aims to unravel the rationale for the joint partnership plan, the intended and realised consequences and the intentions of the developed strategies for the partnership. Though strategies and actions undertaken by of the Australian and Chinese universities aimed for long term goals and outcomes to be achieved through the joint partnership, this has not been unproblematic due to the differing priorities and interests of key stakeholders from both universities. This study explores the relationships between the intentions of the joint initiative versus the reality of the outcomes achieved. It examines the strategies formulated, planned and actions undertaken and expectations which may differ from the realised and emergent consequences in a context of global competition. This study will inform research, policy and practice of internationalisation.
What is the rationale of the joint degree partnership in a context of global competition?
What are the strategies formulated and the perceived constraints of such initiative?
What are the intended and realised outcomes of the collaboration?
This study was framed and conceptualised from Mintzberg's theoretical perspectives of strategic management such as intended, realised, deliberate and emergent strategies. Using this framework, the study aimed to provide deeper understanding of the rationale, strategies and outcomes of the joint partnership through internationalisation of HE between the Australian and Chinese universities. Literature used -Mintzberg, 1986, 1990; Knight, 2005, 2011; De Wit, 2013; van Damme, 2001.
Ethics for this research was granted by the University Ethics committee and deemed as a low risk study.
Altbach, P. G., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and Realities. Journal of Studies in International Education. 11 (3–4): 290–305. Ball, S. (2007). Big policies/ small world: an introduction to international perspectives in education policy. In B. Lingard & J. Ozga (Eds.), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in education policy and politics (pp. 36-47). Great Britain: Routledge. Cuthbert, R. (2016). Marketing and marketization. What went wrong, and how can we put it right? In P. John & J. Fanghanel (Eds.), Dimensions of marketization in Higher Education (pp.48-56). Oxon: Routledge. Davies, J. L. (1995). University strategies for internationalisation in different institutional and Cultural Settings, in P. Bok (Ed.) Policy and Policy Implementation in the Internationalisation of Higher Education. Amsterdam: European Association for International Education. De Wit, H. (Ed.) (1995). Strategies for Internationalisation of Higher Education: a comparative study of Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States of America. Amsterdam: European Association for International Education. Knight, J. (2004). Internationalization Remodeled: Definitions, Rationales, and Approaches. Journal for Studies in International Education 8 (1): 5–31. Knight, J. (2006). Internationalization of Higher Education: New Directions, New Challenges. 2005 International Association of Universities Global Survey Report. Paris: France. Knight, J. (2011). Doubts and Dilemmas with Double Degree Programs. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento 8 (2): 235–248. Lingard, B. (2010). Policy borrowing, policy learning: testing times in Australian schooling. Critical Studies in Education, 51(2), 129-147. Mintzberg, H. (1987). Crafting strategy. USA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Mintzberg, H. (1989). Mintzberg on Management. New York: Free Press. Mintzberg, H., & Quinn, J. (1996). The strategy process: Concepts, contexts, cases (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. Middlehurst, R. (2013). Changing internal governance: are leadership roles and management structures in United Kingdom universities fir for the future? Higher Education Quarterly, 67(3),275-294. Middlehurst, R. (2016). A critical reflection on leadership in higher education. In P. John & J. Fanghanel (Eds.), Dimensions of marketization in Higher Education (pp.48-56). Oxon: Routledge. Ng, J. & Nyland, B (2016). Internationalisation and global learning. In Barkarsas, T. & Bertram, A. (Eds.) Global learning in the 21st century. Sense Publications. Wu, K., Young, M., & Cai, J. (2012). Early Child Development in China. Breaking the cycle of poverty and improving future competitiveness. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/9383/709830PUB0EPI00 67926B09780821395646.pdf
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