Branch Campuses in Africa: New Transnational Education Market to Serve Demand from Glocals?

In last couple of years, Africa has been gaining traction in terms of transnational education. It includes a diverse range of models from traditional branch campuses with Webster to blended-learning models with Kepler. Likewise, in terms of home countries, universities from Australia, the UK and the US are engaging with Africa. Here are some of the recent developments with transnational education in Africa:

These diverse developments indicate the demand coming from “glocals“–who are willing to pay for a global educational experience while staying in their home country or region through a range of TNE models including validation, franchise, twinning, dual/joint, overseas campuses and now MOOCs.

Glocal segment is growing with the expanding middle class. According to Deloitte, “As African economies are growing (7 of the 10 fastest growing in the world are African), the wealth is trickling down and Africa now has the fastest growing middle class in the world.” World Bank analysis shows the role of education in the making of the middle class in Africa and more people are investing in private education.

At the same time, translating the rising demand from the glocals into feasible and sustainable models is not easy. The regulatory environment is volatile, which hinders in creating strategies with a degree of predictability. In addition, the high price-sensitivity of the emerging markets like Africa makes it very challenging to offering high quality and high cost education at an affordable price. This is where, models like Monash in South Africa have struggled and that of Kepler’s may have a better scalability potential through blended learning.

As the demand in Africa grows, higher education institutions with global ambitions will be compelled to find creative, strategic and sustainable models of engagement, which adapt to the specific need of an emerging and evolving African market. Will universities take up this challenge?

Upcoming Keynote Presentation:
I will be delivering a keynote at at the upcoming conference on Transnational Education in London.

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Dr. Rahul Choudaha