The concept of ‘borderless higher education’ owes its genesis to a research report published in 3 volumes by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals (now Universities UK) in 2000: “The Business of Borderless Education: UK Perspectives”. This research was a sister project to an Australian study, “The Business of Borderless Education” undertaken by a team at Queensland University of Technology.
‘Borderless’ refers to the blurring of geographical, sectoral and conceptual borders in higher education globally (and covers online learning, international branch campuses, corporate universities, for-profit universities, partnerships between ‘traditional’ and new providers of higher education).
A key recommendation in the report was to establish an ‘Observatory on Borderless Education’ (OBHE) to continue to monitor borderless developments across the globe including worldwide- disruptive innovations such as online learning, internationalization in all its forms and commercial competition and partnerships. The OBHE offers analysis on trends, business models and policy frameworks, providing strategic intelligence to education leaders and policymakers attempting to navigate the opportunities and threats of borderless higher education. The OBHE was bought by i-Graduate and is now owned by Tribal; it continues to fulfil its role as a higher education think tank with institutional membership across 30 countries. I have been a member of the OBHE’s Advisory Board since 2005 and was the research leader of the team that worked on the original UK ‘Borderless’ research project.
I continue to research and publish in the field of ‘Borderless and Higher Education Futures.’ In 2017, I took on a new role as Contributing Editor for a series on ‘HE Futures’ for Wonkhe, an online platform for anyone interested and engaged in higher education policy, people and politics.
complexity and choice in a world of borderless education
UK Perspectives. Summary Report