The Global University pp 55-81

Part of the Historical Studies in Education book series (HSE) | Cite as

Contributing to the Southeast Asian Knowledge Economy? Australian Offshore Campuses in Malaysia and Vietnam

  • Anthony R. Welch


This chapter reviews the recent rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) in offshore campuses of Australian universities, in Malaysia and Vietnam, in the context of a rise in global trade in services, including educational services. The first section traces the rise of service-sector trade, especially in higher education, and assesses its significance in the context of a so-called knowledge economy with marked differences between the global “North” and “South.” The next section charts the rise of FDI related to higher education, revealing a similar dominance by wealthier nations. The chapter examines the changing patterns of investment for Vietnam and Malaysia as each government has allowed greater privatization in its higher-education sector. This shifting context—driven in part by responses to globalization and structural adjustment measures since the 1980s—has encouraged Australian universities to invest in branch campuses in both Vietnam and Malaysia. Exploring the different pattern of growth of each branch campus and its business model, the chapter concludes with an assessment of the potential benefits of FDI in branch campuses for developing countries, and the very real problems these campuses can bring, or aggravate.


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Related Websites

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  2. ASEAN Statistics Unit, Statistical Yearbook, http://www.aseansec/org/macroeconomic/aq
  3. Ministry of Education, Malaysia,
  4. Monash Malaysia,
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Copyright information

© Adam R. Nelson and Ian P. Wei 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony R. Welch

There are no affiliations available

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