Constructing transnational Spaces of Higher Education


International Branch Campus Development at the Interface of Network and Territorial Embeddedness

Globalising universities can be understood as economic actors engaging in the symbolic, social, and material construction of transnational spaces of higher education. The construction of international branch campus (IBCs), spatially concentrated in “education cities” in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Singapore, or Malaysia, are particularly visible expressions of internationalisation and marketization strategies in the contemporary knowledge economy. These spaces function as crystallisation points of globalisation, embedded in translocal networks and flows of people, knowledge and capital. Simultaneously, they are embedded in place-based local, urban and national development strategies. We conduct a multi-scalar and multi-sited research project, drawing on different perspectives in human geography, to map, understand, and contribute to debates on the geographies of globalisation of higher education.

The project is funded by the Leibniz Association's
Best Minds Competition 2018

TEAM and Partners

Jana Maria Kleibert

Junior Research Group Leader
Dr. Jana M. Kleibert is an economic geographer with a keen interest in the geographies of globalisation, the networks and places of global production and the remaking of global cities. […]

Tim Rottleb

Research Associate
Tim Rottleb studied Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Political Science which was followed by a M.A. in Politics and Economics of the Middle East, both at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. During his studies he was mainly interested in researching EU-MENA relations as well as societal conflicts in Arabic countries and their urban dimension. […]

Alice Bobée

Research Associate
Alice Bobée graduated in 2018 from a Master of Arts in “Sociology – European Societies” at the Freie University of Berlin. Her interests lie in elite studies, gender and the globalization of higher education. Her Master thesis explored the collective identity construction of students of a private School of Governance in Berlin. […]

Marc Schulze

Research Associate
Marc Schulze studied Geography, Political Science and English Studies at the University of Freiburg (Germany), the University of Sheffield (UK) and the University of Strasbourg (France). His current research focus is in Economic Geography with wider research interests in Political and Social Geography..[…]

Neil Coe

Neil Coe is Professor of Economic Geography at the National University of Singapore. His research interests are in the areas of global production networks and local economic development; the geographies of local and transnational labour markets; the geographies of innovation; and institutional and network approaches to economic development. […]

Bas van Heur

Bas van Heur is professor of Human Geography and Urban Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and is director of the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research. His main research interest is in the politics of urban development and the analysis of urban development strategies and their effects. […]


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