Global Education Centers see value in forming an association


The increasing internationalization of education and the global advance of the knowledge economy have led to the emergence of a number of “education hubs” in different parts of the world aimed at attracting foreign investment in education. education in the form of branch campuses and other types of Transnational Educational Devices (TNE) institutions capable of attracting international students.

Although operating in different regulatory and national environments, these hubs face similar challenges and growth opportunities.

A common challenge is to develop an ecosystem conducive to attracting reputable international education providers and international talent.

A common opportunity is posed by the growing global demand for quality international education closer to home, which has intensified in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In a context where one might expect a trend towards regionalization or “de-globalization” of international student mobility, education hubs are ideally placed to play an important role in offering alternative routes to quality international education closer to home.

In this context, five international education centers have come together to engage in the development of a platform through which they can share their experiences and lessons learned, explore shared solutions to common challenges and consider ways to support each other by facilitating partnerships. between international providers through the hubs, promoting inter-hub mobility of students and education provision and attracting new operations and partnerships.

As a result of these conversations facilitated by Ecctis and EduCity Iskandar, the International Association of Education Centers (IAEH) was formed, including, as initial members, EduCity Iskandar (Malaysia), Incheon Global Campus (South Korea ), RAKEZ Academic Zone (United States United Arab Emirates) and Uniciti Education Hub (Mauritius).

Hainan International Education Innovation Pilot Zone (China) is also involved in this initiative through its academic experts.

EduCity Iskandar, Malaysia

EduCity Iskandar, a catalyst development led by Iskandar Investment Berhad, is a fully integrated education center that acts as a source of talent to support the diverse economic activities of Iskandar Malaysia’s Southern Development Corridor.

Situated on an area of ​​305 acres in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia, it currently hosts four international higher education institutions – Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia and University of Reading Malaysia (UK), Netherlands Maritime University College (Netherlands) and Kolej MDIS Malaysia (Singapore) – as well as the local Raffles University.

It also hosts three international schools and a training center and has recently created its own educational institutions: EduCity Academy, a unique talent lifecycle solution and ecosystem developer, and EduCity International College, which from here the third quarter of 2022 is expected to offer the UK Generic Foundation program and degree programs in a range of subjects.

Currently, EduCity hosts over 4,000 students from Malaysia and neighboring countries. It offers a host of shared services that include travel and mobility support, student facilities, a serviced accommodation complex, recreation and sports facilities, and social and coworking spaces.

Hainan International Education Innovation Pilot Zone, China

Hainan Lingshui Li’an International Education Innovation Pilot Zone is an education center that was recently established on the Li’an Peninsula, southeast of Hainan Island, China. It is one of the 11 key areas of Hainan Free Trade Port. With a planned total area of ​​12.72 square kilometers, it currently occupies about one square kilometer.

Its main objective is to create a cooperation platform between Chinese and foreign universities, provide world-class educational services and develop innovation in education by attracting quality foreign universities.

It is the only place in mainland China where foreign universities are not required to partner with local institutions, but can set up wholly-owned operations.

The pilot area, which is expected to reach 1,000 students in the fall semester of 2022, has currently signed cooperation agreements with various foreign universities, including the University of Alberta (Canada), Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences ( Germany), the University of Glasgow, Queen Mary University of London and Coventry University (United Kingdom), Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland), Rutgers University, Rice University and the University of Michigan (United States).

Incheon Global Campus, South Korea

Incheon Global Campus (IGC) is a national project set up by the South Korean government and the Incheon Metropolitan City to innovate the Korean education system and train the next generation of global leaders.

It is located in the international city of Songdo, with a total area of ​​29 square kilometers and the plan is to accommodate 10 international universities and about 10,000 students, providing a quality learning environment for both domestic and international students.

Currently, it hosts five international universities and a research institute: Stony Brook University (USA), Fashion Institute of Technology (USA), George Mason University Korea (USA), Ghent University Global Campus (Belgium) , the University of Utah (USA) and the Stanford Research Center (USA).

IGC provides a shared network of facilities and human resources to its hosted institutions, facilitating cultural exchange through a wide range of community spaces and interaction with home campuses around the world. All IGC students must spend one year at the home campus to complete their studies.

RAKEZ Academic Zone, United Arab Emirates

The RAKEZ Academic Zone is part of the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ). It was established in 2013 to attract and support quality educational institutions and service providers who could contribute to market-driven education, training and professional development services that benefit Ras Al Khaimah, the United Arab Emirates and the wider Gulf region.

A range of customized educational facilities and shared services are provided to institutions operating in the University Zone, which currently hosts 10 overseas campuses. The majority are from the UK: University of Stirling, University of Bath Spa, Birmingham City University, University of West London and University of Bolton.

The other five are Northwood University (USA), EPFL and Swiss Business School (Switzerland), Munnar Catering College (India) and Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology (Pakistan).

The RAKEZ Academic Zone also performs an academic regulatory function by offering operating licenses to educational institutions based on an assessment of their ability to provide education of a quality and standard comparable to what is offered on campus. of origin.

Uniciti Education Hub, Mauritius

Uniciti Education Hub, an initiative of the Medine Group, aims to create an integrated learning ecosystem in Mauritius. Offerings range from kindergarten, pre-primary, primary and secondary schools to international institutions of higher and executive education.

It currently hosts five foreign campuses – Vatel Mauritius, Université Paris-Panthéon-Assas and Ensa Nantes (France), Amity (India) and Middlesex University (UK) – as well as the local MCB Institute of Finance.

Uniciti Education Hub has a rapidly growing student population of over 3,300 students of various nationalities, including 2,300 in higher education and 1,000 in its preschools, primary and secondary schools. Its wide range of educational offerings touch every stage of an individual’s academic, professional and personal development.

As part of its services, Uniciti Education Hub offers students various on-campus experiences, ranging from outdoor activities and discoveries to workshops on interesting topics, competitions, intercollegiate tournaments and other initiatives.

Joining the International Association of Education Hubs is an expression of a commitment to dialogue, sharing experiences and exploring cooperation. The IAEH is open to membership from other hubs without any obligation. In addition to its work with the five founding hubs, it looks forward to engaging with other key stakeholders, such as regulators, service providers and academic associations or networks across a range of initiatives. One of these initiatives will be an annual event organized on a rotating basis by a member hub. The first of these global events will be hosted by EduCity Iskandar, Malaysia in 2023-24.

Fabrizio Trifiró is Head of Quality Benchmark Services at Ecctis, the agency that manages the National Qualifications Recognition function on behalf of the UK Government. At Ecctis, he oversees services aimed at supporting international understanding and the recognition of international qualifications. He led the development and oversees the implementation of the Transnational Education Quality Benchmark program aimed at improving the international recognition ecosystem for TNE’s offering. Fabrizio sits on the board of the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) and is an examiner for a number of international quality assurance bodies. He is a Senior Advisor to the International Association of Education Hubs, having played a key role in its creation.

He would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this article: Wan Ahmad Saifuddin (General Manager, EduCity Iskandar), Sakina Sofia (Director of Operations, EduCity Iskandar), Luo Qing (Head of International Education Innovation Pilot Area of Hainan and Professor at Communication University of China), Ji Xiaoxiao (Director and Operations Director of Hainan International Education Innovation Pilot Zone), Dohee Kwon (Director, Incheon Global Campus Foundation), Seung Yeon Kang (Deputy Director , Incheon Global Campus Foundation), Taner Topcu (Director of RAKEZ Academic Zone), Steven Reissig (Head of Academic Zone, RAKEZ), Steena Kistnen (General Manager, Uniciti Education Hub, Medine Group) and Karveen Puddoo (Head of Operations, Uniciti Education Hub, Medina Group).

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