Academic Joint Ventures And Business Aspects Education Essay

As with any concern partnership between an U.S. corporation and a Latin American corporation, universities that spouse to offer academic plans must see the fiscal and operational facets of such partnerships. This paper deals with international partnerships between universities as research labs for coaction between concerns. The elements that make for a successful articulation venture go beyond the academic issues of content and how that content is delivered to pupils.

This paper deals with the concern and inter-university relationships in developing and implementing articulation or collaborative grade plans between universities. It does non cover with traditional exchange plans or double grade plans where one of the universities is the dominant establishment at which the pupils really earn the grade. ; instead the coaction here deals with the joint development and offering of course of study by the establishments as equal spouses that leads to the awarding of a joint or collaborative grade.

Regis University, founded in 1877, is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the United States. The university enrolls more than 16,000 pupils who study at its Denver, Colorado campus, seven other regional campuses and on-line via distance acquisition. The University has developed relationships with the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland, and ITESO in Guadalajara, Mexico every bit good as other relationships with schools in other parts of the universe. This paper concentrates on the relationships with the Ulster, Galway and ITESO for intents of the research theoretical account.

The University of Ulster is the major university in Northern Ireland and is portion of the higher educational system in the United Kingdom. Ulster is similar to Regis University in that both have multiple campus that serve diverse populations and both have extended on-line educational plans. The National University of Ireland in Galway is involved in extended educational partnerships throughout Europe and in Asia every bit good as supplying extended go oning instruction grade plans for working grownups within the state. ITESO, located in Guadalajara, Mexico, is a Jesuit university as is Regis University. ITESO offers a important figure of academic and go oning professional development plans for working grownups and via its distance instruction scheduling. ITESO participates in an extended web of schools throughout North and Latin America every bit good as in Europe and Asia.


The educational literature has a great trade of research refering the traditional pupil exchange plans between international universities every bit good as survey abroad, and double grade plans, yet there is small about the development and operation of jointly developed and operated degree plans. The double grade plans in the literature be given to be coactions where one of the universities offers the grade ( typically the U.S. spouse ) and the other school provides pupils. In many instances these double grade plans allow the pupils of either school to reassign a specific figure of classs into the other grade and to take classs at each school. But the pupils are normally considered degree seeking at the dominant spouse in the relationship.

What needs to be looked at is how we develop and guarantee that both the U.S. school and the school in the other state is a full and equal spouse in the coaction. One such partnership that seems to signal such a alteration is the joint partnership between the British Council and the state of Brazil. In an article depicting this partnership Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) stated that “ ( vitamin E ) quality in the proviso of financess has a practical and symbolic significance aˆ¦ , meaning that this is a coaction that sets out to replace traditional north-south relationships of giver and receiver with echt academic partnerships ” ( P. 27. ) What the writers were seeking to state and what seems to be needed in developing such international coactions is that there is a demand for common regard and engagement where both organisations bring similar or complementary accomplishments and resources to the tabular array as opposed to the traditional theoretical account which typically has the U.S. or European university supplying the existent educational chances at the U.S. school with the bulk of the pupils coming from the other state.

What their paper efforts to make is analyze the relationship between the U.S. school and the Latin American school in a different visible radiation. Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) paraphrased Altbach ( 1981 ) in which Altbach commented on the quandary 3rd universe universities so had in deriving acknowledgment even though academic public presentation and research in the 3rd universe had improved greatly over the old ages since World War II. It seems that the perceptual experience was that the establishments in the U.S. and Europe have the monopoly on cognition and the 3rd universe is in demand of that cognition. Such attitudes continue and have limited cooperation and coaction. Canto and Hannah believe that since the late 1970 ‘s schools in the U.S. and Europe have entered into horizontal partnerships that include three elements: “ ( a ) the being of old cognition of the other spouse to set up realistic outlooks ” which came from Samoilovich ‘s work in the 1990 ‘s, “ ( B ) the echt sharing of each other ‘s experiences ” which they got from work done by Balan in the 1990 ‘s, and “ ( degree Celsius ) the application of each other ‘s cognition instead than a one-way transportation ” of cognition from the dominant school, which came from work done by Bor and Shute in the 1990 ‘s. ( 2001, P. 32. )

Some issues identified by Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) include:

holding a clear apprehension of each spouse ‘s strengths and failings,

holding a great trade of trust in each other,

low degrees of struggle

an equal partnership where both spouses are respected for what each brings to the relationship,

acknowledging that linguistic communication can be a barrier, and

holding regard for each school ‘s cultural differences.

Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) besides looked at three links that need to be considered. These are linguistics, sociology, and engineering. Each of these demands to be considered when developing a partnership where both schools play an equal function in developing the academic course of study and be aftering the concern theoretical account for operations. This was re-enforced by Shaw ( 2006 ) who speaks to the importance of understanding political environments in each state every bit good as within each establishment involved in the partnership. He farther commented that the “ ( s ) tability of a joint venture refers to the length of service of the relationship, and it is dependent, in portion, upon the combination and communicating between theaˆ¦partners ” ( P. 439. )

Shaw ( 2006 ) besides identified barriers that must be considered in developing partnerships in the academic sphere. These tend to back up what Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) noted in their research. Shaw spoke to fiscal support, division of work and control, struggle, cultural differences, and environmental factors ( P. 442. )

An interesting fact is that international joint ventures have declined in figure over the past decennary ( Popper, 2002 ) and while Popper is talking by and large about transnational companies, she notes that much of the diminution is because the spouses have different involvements. Popper ‘s remarks tend to back up the treatment above refering issues to be alert about when developing coactions between U.S. or European universities and their opposite numbers in Latin America.

Chowdhury and Chowdhury ( 2002 ) remark that it is of import to develop “ synergism among the spouse houses ( P. 52. ) They further speak to the symmetric houses holding an inducement for organizing the partnership in the demand to increase demand ( p. 57. ) If this is translated into an educational partnership, so the end may good be to increase demand for higher instruction in one or both states – or at least the demand for an instruction from the spouse schools.

Finally Nadler and Nadler ( 1990 ) speak to the demand to see the homo resource demands in joint ventures. They commented that “ the fluctuation in cultural norms from state to state should be recognized and understood ” ( p. 71 ) when sing human resource issues. Each spouse may hold different accomplishments and cognition to impart to the coaction and this needs to be understood and planned for. Nadler and Nadler farther noted that both spouses in a joint venture must understand that each spouse may miss some human resources capacity and that may necessitate to be developed.

Lessons Learned from Regis University and its Spouses

Relationship Building

The literature clearly noted that one of the keys to success with international collaborative ventures is the development of relationships ( Canto & A ; Hannah, 2001, Shaw, 2006, Popper, 2002, Chowdhury and Chowdhury, 2002, and Nadler & A ; Nadler, 1990. )

Based on an analysis of the international coactions between Regis University, Denver, Colorado and the three international spouses introduced before, relationship edifice likely is foremost in those elements that ensured success and when non to the full developed, resulted in failure.

Prior to get downing to develop any academic plans with ITESO in Guadalajara and the National University of Ireland in Galway ( NUIG ) both schools spent considerable clip acquiring to cognize each other. In the instance of NUIG the partnership began with senior functionaries at both schools meeting through a 3rd party and so merely researching possible chances over a twosome of old ages. The same occurred with ITESO. Representatives of both schools foremost met through a conference sponsored by AJCU and AUSCAL in Guadalajara and so about a twelvemonth subsequently at an IAJBS educational conference. That led to farther contacts and visits. During these meetings and societal contacts, both parties got to cognize the people and their civilizations, and developed a trusting relationship. In the first instance, these contacts led to the formation of a joint Irish Studies plan online between NUIG and Regis University. The plan was designed to be little in order to develop a working relationship and has continued. Later that plan led to the development and execution of an on-line alumnus grade in package technology. The relationship at ITESO resulted in execution of a joint MBA grade where pupils from both schools can gain an extra grade from each by taking nucleus classs at the place establishment and so a series of classs at the other. This relationship is now leting ITESO and Regis University to look at traveling into a jointly offered grade for the remainder of Latin America.

An illustration of a plan that likely failed because the relationship was non adequately developed before seeking to implement a plan was the joint MS grade in International Management between Regis University and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Here the determination to travel forward was made really rapidly by the top decision makers in each school. No clip was allowed for the module of each university to acquire to cognize each other and work together before planning. This resulted in miscommunications about course of study, policies, civilization in each state and the schools themselves, every bit good as other administrative issues. When the Numberss of pupils did non happen in the beginning, it was easy to merely end the understanding.

Relationship edifice in any concern venture is critical to the success of the venture. In higher instruction it may be even more of import since the success of the joint venture or coaction depends on people wholly. The strength of the Regis-NUIG relationship is a personal 1 between a twosome of persons at each establishment that has led to other personal relationships between module and staff at each school. While there is a common linguistic communication, there are still differences in civilization and model. ITESO is a Jesuit university as is Regis University so there was an bing bond, yet it was the development of the personal relationships between module and staff at both schools that ensured a successful partnership.

Fiscal Issues

Fiscal issues can be a deal-breaker if non handled suitably in any joint venture, but possibly even more so when working across international boundary lines. The development of a strong trusting relationship will assist both spouses work through struggles that may originate refering who contributes what fiscal and physical resources and how disbursals are accounted for.

The relationship with ITESO was assisted by a grant from the First Data/Western Union foundation that provided monies to make some conferences in Mexico for civil sector workers and organisations with ITESO and others taking a leading function in Mexico. The grant besides provided dollars to get down be aftering a certification ( sheepskin ) plan in the civil sector country and for conveying some module from ITESO to Regis during the summer intensives the University holds each twelvemonth. From this get downing the concern and direction modules began speaking about the joint MBA construct which subsequently developed into the current offering between the two schools.

There are a figure of ways to develop the concern program that can impact the fiscal resources needed for the successful execution of the collaborative attempt.

One theoretical account is to merely hold each school wage for its ain costs and so split the grosss generated. This avoids the job of finding methods for apportioning disbursals. Each establishment decides what budgetary disbursals should be included in the undertaking. It may besides avoid the job of costs at one location being more or less than the other. One disadvantage may be that the theoretical account relies on each to equitably back up the operational disbursals. If the coaction is online there likely needs to be some expression for the on-line production and hosting of the classs. Sharing the grosss besides has advantages and disadvantages. It does presume that there is some equity in the Numberss of pupils recruited by each spouse ; otherwise, it is possible one school is lending more than the other.

A 2nd theoretical account is to still hold each school budget its ain disbursals, but have each school keep the grosss it generates through its ain recruiting attempts. This theoretical account might include each school counterbalancing the other when a pupil takes a class ( s ) from the other school. Or each school merely keeps the gross it generates. The advantage to this theoretical account is that it is clear and each school is individually at hazard. The disadvantage is that presuming costs are equal in most instances, one school may bring forth more gross than the other one and therefore the partnership might be uneven.

A 3rd theoretical account is to develop a individual agreed upon budget and so apportion costs based on what services and resources are provided by each establishment. It follows that grosss would besides be allocated on a similar expression. This theoretical account ensures that each school is accountable to the whole since each has a interest in the result. Like the old theoretical account the challenge will be to maintain some kind of para in the relationship.

Costss for such coactions include: selling and recruiting disbursals, production costs for online development, module and staff costs, aggregations disbursals and other administrative operating expense, and start-up disbursals. Depending on the size of the coaction these can be rather dearly-won to each organisation. Each of these will be dealt with in assorted subdivisions of the paper to follow.

Another component of fundss to believe about is the international pecuniary exchange rate and how that is calculated. Historically, the exchange has been based on the U.S. dollar, but in the current economic environment the fluctuation in exchange rates takes on an importance that may non hold been at that place in the yesteryear. If the two schools portion grosss, it can be debatable finding at what point the exchange rate is fixed. Along with the exchange rate is the inquiry of whose currency payments are made in. Each spouse may be bear downing tuition in its ain currency which makes it hard to find if the charges to pupils are tantamount.

Such dialogues have had important impacts on the coactions between Regis University and its spouses. The coaction with NUIG requires each spouse to budget its ain disbursals, nevertheless, there is a expression for points such as selling disbursals and some overhead that vary between states. In Europe it is common to non bear down pupils for required texts and to utilize other beginnings, while in the U.S. pupils typically pay for their ain books and more frequently than non text editions are required. How do the spouses determine an just manner of covering with these differences? Both Regis and NUIG agreed on a expression for dividing the grosss earned from pupil tuitions ; of class, during the first few old ages at that place have ever been minor dialogues as to how that works at the terminal of the twelvemonth when the transportation of monies occurs. With the coaction with ITESO, the current undertaking has each school responsible for its ain disbursals including selling and enlisting. Each school besides charges its ain tuition for all classs in the plan and so each spouse compensates the other for those classs taken at the spouse school by its pupils. However, ITESO and Regis University came to an understanding on what the tuition would be for this plan. Compensation for pupils taking classs at the other spouse is in that school ‘s currency. For the Ulster venture, the allotment was more complicated and included negociating all disbursals and costs every bit good as the tuition rate. Each school shared in the budget based on a negotiated expression. This proved to be slightly dissentious.

If either establishment is come ining the understanding with the purpose of functioning 1000s of pupils and doing important net incomes they will probably be disappointed. While larning from one another and come ining markets that might hold been out of range are surely worthwhile and come-at-able ends, doing more than a modest net income is non. The financials developed prior to come ining the understanding between Regis University and Ulster promised tremendous net income. The failure of this net income to happen was one more nail in the casket of that venture.

One lesson learned was that maintaining it every bit simple as possible is in the best involvement of both spouses. While the ITESO coaction merely late the purpose has been that this theoretical account will ensue in a better direction procedure for disbursals.

Merchandise Development

Here we speak in footings of course of study development every bit good as production of online classs. It is likely that occupants in each state or part of the universe will hold different demands and desires when it comes to the course of study, how that course of study is offered, and what is expected in the manner of work. The modules at both schools need to come to understanding on what the course of study will include in order to outdo service diverse pupil organic structures.

The modules of ITESO and Regis University spent considerable clip working together on placing the acquisition results for a collaborative MBA and what classs might be appropriate and the sum of clip it might take to finish the grades. In the instance of this partnership it was decided that each school would go on to offer classs that already exist. In add-on it was determined that each university ‘s pupils needed to finish the nucleus at the place school and so take five classs from the other school which would transcripted at both. ITESO teaches its classs in Spanish and Regis teaches its classs in English.

For the NUIG coaction, each school became responsible for developing half of the course of study, so dialogues centered on what type of classs and content ought to be included and which school is responsible for which courses. This procedure took considerable clip and communications between the modules at each school. For most of the classs each school was able to accommodate its ain class work for the coaction.

Regis University and the University of Ulster besides developed a theoretical account where each school developed half of the course of study ; nevertheless, it was decided to get down from abrasion. The construct included both modules working together on the content. This created important jobs in coming to understanding and probably besides contributed to the eventual expiration of the understanding.

Production includes finding who and how classs will be written and produced for on-line presentation. It is imperative that the classs be offered on one platform so the understanding needs to specify which school hosts the plan and how the modules of the two schools participate with the development squad.


Determining the mark market is a important facet of the coaction. The other inquiry that must be asked and answered is who is responsible for making the selling and enlisting. In the instance of the Ulster coaction, the negotiated understanding stated that while both schools would make selling, Regis University would be responsible for most of the attempt. Ulster would host the classs on its WebCT platform. This proved to be a job since the Regis selling squad had no experience selling a plan in another state and had to play catch up. With both ITESO and NUIG each school markets to its ain market, which seems to be a better attack. This besides means that each school identifies who the mark market will be. In the instance of the Ulster coaction it was Regis University ‘s function to place the European market which proved to be much more hard than idea.

Consideration must be given to making marketing surveies in the states to be involved. Such surveies need to include who are the possible pupils, their companies, whether the companies assist in paying the tuition, and what the tuition scope will be. If the coaction will include offering the degree plan beyond the two states, what are the planetary considerations. Agreement is needed between the spouses on what is to be marketed. Here once more cultural differences and regional differences play a portion. What may work in the U.S. is non needfully what will work in Latin America.

One inquiry to inquire is whether the possible pupil population is ready and willing to take part in the plan. One premise is that a combined U.S./Latin American or U.S./European grade is something that will be sought after if offered. And if so are pupils willing to make so via the cyberspace.

It appears that leting each spouse to make its ain selling is the best option for a figure of grounds. These include cognition of the local civilization and peoples, cognition of the types of selling that work best, and costs included. For illustration in the North American market making internet gross revenues may be a better attack while in Europe direct gross revenues may work better.


Technology is non merely the platform and class direction system to be used in offering the coaction. It besides includes cognizing what engineering the possible market has entree to, the set breadth in the states and sub-regions of states, costs of entree to the cyberspace, and even clip zone issues that affect use. Latin America has long used orbiter transmittal and wireless transmittal for certificate/diploma plans since these engineerings have been available. Switch overing to the cyberspace to convey educational plans is a new manner of making this, and the possible pupils need to hold entree to the engineering. And they need to desire to make so.

One of the lessons obtained from the Ulster coaction was that the selling survey showed that pupils in northern Europe had ready entree to the cyberspace and to the engineering to entree it. At the same clip the farther South in Europe one went the less likely it was that possible pupils would entree the cyberspace either because of no involvement or because there was non ready entree. A inquiry for the partnership with ITESO is that one time it expands beyond the regional country served by ITESO, will possible pupils have the engineering and entree to take part. In some instances this may necessitate a committedness from the individual ‘s employer to supply entree through the corporate web.

Legal and Governmental

One frequently does non believe about or see the legal and governmental issues that can be involved in international coactions. This is a important facet of concern partnerships since international trade is governed by many regulations and ordinances. In most academic exchange plans there are few limitations even for double grades when merely one spouse really offers the grade. However, for the types of partnerships addressed by this paper, there are many considerations.

First are accreditation issues. For Regis University, the Higher Learning Commission ( HLC ) of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges ( NCA ) must at least reappraisal such coactions prior to their execution. For the spouses there may be a demand to hold the instruction ministry for the state review the undertaking and O.K. it. Such blessings are required if the grades are to be jointly awarded and the course of study is being shared by both schools. Issues include transcripting of credits and the grades, module makings, academic quality and appraisal, and many other concerns.

There may be specific governmental limitations or regulations that must be met in each state. These may be academic constituents or things like pupil funding issues, travel limitations, visa demands if pupils travel between states, pecuniary policies, and contract regulations and ordinances.

An interesting obstruction discovered after the partnership was ready to get down in Ireland was the find that Irish Constitution requires any grade offered by NUIG to be entirely awarded by the National University of Ireland. That created jobs since NUIG and Regis had planned on presenting a joint grade for the alumnus grade in package technology. The solution was to hold the pupils decide which state he/she wanted the grade from after which the pupil completed the finishing touch for that university. Besides the grade being awarded from either NUIG or Regis University, the schools jointly give the pupils a parchment that describes the joint venture and that the grade is recorded at each school. The University of Ulster did non hold such jobs since it is located in Northern Ireland which is portion of the United Kingdom. Ulster was authorized to find its ain grade awarding regulations and so it was all right to present a joint grade. However, Ulster believed there were other regulations that affected how the plan could be structured. In both instances outside judges needed to be involved at the terminal of each twelvemonth to reexamine pupil advancement and base on balls on whether the pupils met academic criterions. This was something new for Regis University. The stiff regulations in Northern Ireland likely besides contributed to the struggle that finally resulted in the plan being terminated.

ITESO must run into the academic regulations in consequence in Mexico ; nevertheless, because of ITESO ‘s position with the instruction ministry, it is authorized to develop a coaction that includes jointly presenting grades. In add-on the Mexican higher instruction system operates in a mode more similar to the United States theoretical account.

Another regulative issue involves standards used by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business ( AACSB ) which frequently requires that both spouses be AACSB accredited. This lone affects concern and direction plans, but since that is the country where most of these ventures will happen the regulation is important.

If pupils must go to the other location, in-migration regulations apply. This could be an obstruction for some.

Faculty certificates and makings are besides something to see. The accreditation organic structures will interested how each spouse evaluates and assesses the certificates of the module involved. Regis University and its spouses have chosen to follow standards that province that each school accepts the credentialing procedure of the other school.


Language is an of import factor. Even when the coaction is between an U.S. school and a European one ( including Ireland and the UK ) there are communicating jobs since idioms may be well different and difficult to understand. The issue of linguistic communication is even more of import when the partnership is between an U.S. university and one in Latin America. One inquiry to reply is whether all or some or none of the module demand to be bilingual to take part in the plan? This seems to hold been resolved with the Regis/ITESO coaction. Since the classs taught by ITESO are in Spanish and the 1s taught by Regis are taught in English, it was decided that being bi-lingual is non necessary. It is necessary of the pupils, nevertheless.

Clarity is besides something to see in joint ventures. Given cultural and linguistic communication differences it is really of import to often corroborate that all parties are speaking about the same things. Even when there is a common linguistic communication, such as American English and British or Irish English, false blood relations ( i.e. disciplinas and Disciplines ; cursos and coursesaˆ¦ etc. ) further complicate the affair. Frequent rewording and reappraisal aid to get the better of such jobs.

As Canto and Hannah ( 2001 ) noted, linguistic communication can be an obstruction and must be considered. Language besides impacts how each spouse approaches selling.

Leadership Issues

Effective leading is a must in any coaction. The senior leadership/management at both spouses must be actively supportive of the venture. This includes a committedness for both administrative and fiscal support every bit good as supplying ample resources for module. Without such committedness it will be much more hard to implement and keep the coaction. However, such committedness can besides be a negative if each spouse does non affect the in-between direction leaders and module early on. One illustration of where leading ended up being a major job was the coaction between Regis University and the University of Ulster. The understanding to travel forward was made by the Vice Chancellor of Ulster and the petition to take part came from him without much work done to develop the relationship with the Faculty of Business and Management at Ulster. There was opposition to this new venture, particularly since the module believed they were already successful and were non certain they wanted to make this undertaking. Both schools besides appointed module leads who did non pass on good with each other which all excessively frequently met struggle and dissensions.

On the other manus, the senior leading at both ITESO and NUIG were supportive from the beginning, but they knew that it was of import to construct the relationship foremost. In both instances the presidents or other senior leaders encouraged coaction and allowed for the relationship to develop. Faculty were besides empowered. This reduced the likeliness there would be opposition and struggle.

Any clip there are alterations in leading and/or structural alterations to an establishment it may do it more hard for a fledgeling understanding to travel frontward. Any relationship such as those described in this paper is bound to ab initio be dependent in portion on the personal relationships established between the representatives of the establishments instead than between the establishments themselves. Merely with clip will be relationships become institutional instead than personal and even so it is incumbent on both establishments to proactively work to guarantee the on-going verve of the relationship.

Leader support is critical to such enterprises since resources need to be committed and there is a likely demand to use fund long before any plan is really launched.

Academic Outcomes

Obviously academic quality is cardinal to any coaction. Students in such ventures want to be assured that the grade will be respected and will open doors. One ground pupils will desire to matriculate in such joint coactions is to acquire a place in an international organisation, whether that is in computing machine scientific discipline or concern. This takes on-going and uninterrupted work and coaction between the modules, appraisal of larning results, and guaranting quality experiences for pupils. Part of this includes working with the spouse. For illustration, in the coaction with NUIG, both schools committed to utilizing the outside reviewer theoretical account to yearly measure and measure pupil achievements.

Training and go oning instruction for module is critical in such partnerships. Faculty from different states must work collaboratively. To make this these must be commitment to academic quality every bit good as quality and readily available pupil service and advising.

Concluding Notes

There are first-class grounds to look at organizing international coactions to offer joint grade plans. Such coaction ensures international Bridgess between states and civilizations. In a changing universe environment it may be even more of import that pupils and module, particularly at the alumnus degree, experience international civilizations and instruction.

Much of what must be practiced externally in order to do such coactions work is no unlike that which should be in topographic point internally. Transparency, regard for one another, financial duty, realistic outlooks, quality control and a shared desire to function pupils and learn from one another surely will do such coactions more likely to win. It is besides of import to acknowledge that they may non all win and that larning from those that do n’t is merely more likely to do subsequent attempts, with the same or different spouses, more rewarding.

Jesuit instruction attempts have reached out to the universe since shortly after Ignatius of Loyola brought together his little set of comrades. Ignatian humanitarianism and spiritualty tell us that it is of import to get down with a individual ‘s experiences and so to construct on them, to convey understanding among all peoples. International coactions to offer joint grade plans bring these Jesuit values together across boundary lines and across oceans.