Why branch campuses cannot go their own way

American University in Dubai.


International branch campuses (IBCs) are traditionally seen as a means of boosting international outreach and generating revenue for universities. As their name implies, they are supposed to be extensions[i] of their parent institutions.

It has been recently argued that some IBCs could break free and become independent institutions. One example is the American University in Dubai, which is now an independently accredited institution and no longer a branch campus of American InterContinental University.  The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, which has published reports on IBCs in 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012, classified this institution as an IBC in 2009, but not in 2012. Another example is the United States International University in Kenya, which broke free from United States International University (USIU) when this merged in 2001 with California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and became Alliant International University.

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