Building bridges: a case study of the development and sustainability of an international partnership in post-secondary engineering education
Brolley, Margaret Elizabeth
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In a world that is becoming increasingly globalized, a change in the nature of higher education is leading to increased collaboration across borders. In a sector once dominated by developed countries, developing countries are becoming larger players in providing education to their countries and expanding into the field of providing education for others. This partnership began in 1992 when Manitoba was experiencing reduced government funding, frozen tuition rates and declining student numbers while Malaysia was building the capacity of their higher education system. An inter-institutional partnership was established to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba, and University College Sedaya International (UCSI) in Malaysia. This partnership was established with clear cut benefits to both parties and developed over time with close personal ties between the institutions. However, the partnership has been declining since 2003 when UCSI was permitted to grant degrees. The lifecycle of the partnership is examined in light of this structural change. Organization models of episodic change and punctuated equilibrium, and transformative learning theory are used to explain the status of the partnership and the options for its sustainability.