Borderless education and domestic programs

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Education Economics Vol. 14, No. 3, 297–308, September 2006

Borderless Education and Domestic Programs

International Business Program, University of Texas–San Antonio, USA DonaldLienFrancis 0 300000September 14 Taylor and (print)/1469-5782 (online) 2006 & Francis Ltd Original Article 2006 0964-5292Economics Education 10.1080/09645290600777519 CEDE_A_177703.sgmABSTRACT This paper constructs a theoretical model to evaluate the effects of borderless education on education resource allocation by a public university in a developing country. It is sometimes argued that, with sole emphasis and competence in global knowledge, borderless education will lead to the demise of local knowledge in the developing country. We provide several scenarios to demonstratethis concern is genuine. For example, if graduates from a satellite university established by a transnational organization have opportunities to work abroad and earn higher incomes, then an increase in the wage in the foreign country will lead to a reduction in local knowledge production. KEY WORDS: Borderless education; resource allocation; brain drain

Introduction There has been anincreasing demand for tertiary education in developing countries. Consequently, the numbers of universities and students in these countries improved drastically over the past several years. For example, in Turkey, the number of universities increased from eight prior to 1970 to 71 in 1998 (Tensel and Gungor, 2002). In the Philippines, higher education enrollment grew 1.2% from 1981 to 1985 and acceleratedto 6.92% from 1992 to 1997 (Alburo and Abella, 2002). United Daily News (12 August 2004) reported that the number of colleges and universities in Taiwan increased from 125 in 1993 to 167 in 2003. The numbers of students enrolled in bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs increased by 192%, 333%, and 189%, respectively. Exports of education services also respond strongly to these newdemands. The World Trade Organization reported that the worldwide market of education services exports was worth US$27 billion (Alderman, 2001). The market is further enhanced by the General Agreements in Traded Services. There are by now different types of transnational provisions of tertiary education prevailing in many developing countries (Machado Dos Santos, 2002). Not long ago a student had totravel and live abroad for a certain period to receive Anglo-American education. Today, private and not-for-profit organizations bring these services to developing countries at a lower price. Instead of ‘exporting students’, these
Correspondence Address: Donald Lien, Professor of Economics, International Business Program, University of Texas–San Antonio, 6900 North Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX78249, USA. Email:
0964-5292 print/1469-5782 online/06/030297-12 © 2006 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/09645290600777519


D. Lien

countries import ‘educational services’. Moreover, because many developing countries lack resources to meet the demand for tertiary education, transnational education services provide help to alleviate the problem. Incremental human capitalaccumulation benefits economic development. There are, however, two main concerns with ‘borderless’ education. First, not all transnational services are of good quality. As a result, quality assurance programs are extensively discussed. National, regional, and international accreditations are possible solutions. Secondly, as suggested in Middlehurst and Woodfield (2002), borderless education leads tothe dominance of AngloAmerican education in developing countries. It threatens indigenous education provision and promotes a brain drain of qualified graduates from developing countries. This concern is the main focus of the current paper. In Lien (1988), it was assumed that there are two types of research (or knowledge): one appropriate for developed countries, and the other appropriate for...
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