Reshaping Universities for Survival in the 21st Century: New Opportunities and Paradigms

Indexed in: EBSCO.

Universities are viewed by many as institutions that should impart quality education to enrolled students and foster a learning environment, which, in turn, would benefit the accumulation of ...
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A New World Order

Pp. 30-53 (24)

Christina Chow and Clement Leung


This chapter highlights how the increasingly knowledge-driven global economy has made university education ever more important. In the knowledge economy, employment security has been disappearing. The kinds of workforce needed must be flexible, adaptive and multi-skilled, able to keep up with the pace of global changes. However, due to the slowness of replacement of the existing workforce with a new generation of workers, lifelong learning is the only practical way to create the required new skill-sets. As such, the employability of individuals depends on their transportable knowledge and skills gained through a high level university education, which enables them to be flexible and have an increased propensity to learn continuously. Universities are themselves transformed by the knowledge economy with growth of student enrolments and increasing internationalisation. The growth of university enrolments is not limited to onshore students; there are various forms of transnational education and growth in universities’ international branch campuses. The United States has the longest tradition of setting up branch campuses with recent developments from Australia and United Kingdom. While there has been a proliferation of international branch campuses, there has been a shift in host countries from the Middle East to Asia, especially in China and Singapore. Globalisation, universal access and growth in higher education have placed significant demands on universities to develop new models to service growing and diverse student needs at a time when resources are strained. With increasing competition, there are unintended consequences such as escalating tuition fees, rising student debts when universities are increasing their spending on marketing and branding activities.


Branding, International branch campus, Knowledge society, Knowledge workers, Life-long learning, Marketing, MOOCs, Student loan debts, Transnational education (TNE), World-class universities.


RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.