University of Twente Student Theses


Crossing Educational Borders: An examination of educational and business entry strategies focusing on the Russian market

Aarntzen, Andre (2010) Crossing Educational Borders: An examination of educational and business entry strategies focusing on the Russian market.

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Abstract:The aim of this master thesis research is to find a good entry strategy for Dutch higher educational institutions to offer their international programs in the Russian Federation. Stenden University of Applied Sciences, an institution with a lot of know how in the field of cross-border education, was contacted to find out about its strategies and its experience on the international educational market. Stenden is interested in the possibilities of offering its educational programs in Russia. Consequently, this study will explore the opportunities and most suitable entry strategies for Dutch higher educational institutions that would like to set up cross-border educational activities in Russia, and what type of offshore education is most appropriate in that context. Hereby, Stenden University of Applied Sciences is used as a case study. In order to find the most suitable strategy for setting up cross-border programs in Russia, entry modes for both manufacturing and service firms have been analyzed. The analysis showed that some entry strategies for both modes are quite similar and can therefore be combined. Besides, empirical research was carried out in the Russian Federation, whereby the similarity and application of the combined entry strategies were tested. For this reason interviews were conducted with several stakeholders of three Russian higher educational institutions that appear to be interesting counterparts for Stenden UAS. An external analysis of the factors that are of influence on the Russian higher educational system was performed to explore the chances and limitations of the combined entry strategies. Success factors of, and existing strategies used for cross-border programs were evaluated by means of a benchmark comparison. This study shows that it is possible for Dutch higher educational institutions to offer international study programs in the Russian Federation. Taking into account strict Russian governmental regulations, extensive and time consuming procedures to set up cross-border educational programs, as well as the results of the analysis of existing cross-border educational programs in Russia, three combined entry modes were selected and researched empirically. These three modes are: (1): Non Equity based “Franchising” combined with Cross-Border Mobility Program “Franchising”, (2): Equity/Non Equity based “Strategic Alliance” combined with Cross-Border Mobility Programs “Twinning”, “Double/Joint Degree”, “Validation”, and “Articulation” and (3): Equity based “Joint Venture” combined with Cross-Border Mobility Provider “Branch Campus”. The stakeholders of the Russian higher educational institutions that were screened for this research were very positive about cooperation with Dutch institutions. Since Russian higher educational institutions know how to deal with governmental procedures, they might share their expertise with Dutch institutions that lack experience of the Russian educational market. In theory, all three combined entry modes that were selected and researched can be put into practice. However, a branch campus with a majority interest by a Dutch higher educational institution is hardly feasible. Moreover, twinning cannot be seen as a positive entry mode either, because the Russian higher educational institutions fear loss of revenues and the degree is not issued by them. The findings of this research furthermore show that out of the three entry modes defined, the most suitable one is the combination of the equity and non-equity based “strategic alliances” and the cross-border mobility programs “double/joint degree” and “articulation”. The reason for this is the combination of a relatively high control over the program for both parties, cost sharing, a Dutch and a Russian diploma will be awarded to the students and a relatively easy recognition and accreditation of the program by the Russian authorities. For Dutch higher educational institutions, it is important to build personal long term relationships with prospective Russian partner institutions, which might lead to better mutual understanding and more knowledge about culture and governmental regulations. In addition, it can be of great help that many activities, like visa invitations, city registration, traveling in Russia, and accommodation can be arranged by the Russian partner institution. They are best equipped and experienced to deal with these issues
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Stenden Hogeschool
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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