Collaborative International Education: Reaching Across Borders


Purpose: As international boundaries fade and financial pressures increase, universities are redefining the norm in educational models. The move from a synchronous classroom to a blended classroom or a completely asynchronous environment has forced faculty to be creative in delivery while overcoming complexities in the associated infrastructure. Furthermore, geographic boundaries have diminished, leaving universities seeking ways to reach out to growing student markets, such as South-east Asia. However, this rapid international growth and nearly constant revision of delivery has raised serious questions regarding the maintenance of the quality and reputation of the institution. This is particularly challenging for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs requiring laboratory facilities, commercial software, and detailed, highly interactive theoretical analysis. The purpose of this paper is to describe the evolution, in the aforementioned environment, of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-centric university.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper will examine an example of using a local provider in an international setting to deliver content originating from three universities collaborating to deliver a single STEM degree.

Findings: The question of quality of education is found to overshadow this entire process, particularly given the strict constraints placed by accrediting organizations.

Originality/value: The example under consideration has addressed these issues in a variety of means, that is examined through the course of this paper as a case analysis.


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

Degrees; Distance learning; Higher education; Intercultural; Internet; Multicultural; Sri Lanka; United States of America; Universities

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2012 Emerald, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2012