Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Carole H. Murphy, EdD


Dr. John Henschke

Dr. Kent Farnsworth

Dr. Lloyd Richardson


Abstract With the recent globalization movement and decline in foreign student enrollment in universities in developed countries like the U.S., universities are looking for ways to bring education to the student rather than waiting for students to come for education. Therefore, opening a branch campus abroad and bringing education to the student became an alternative for U.S. universities to bringing students to their campuses. This qualitative study explored the political, economic, socio-cultural, and educational challenges of administering a Sino-U.S. joint-venture campus in the People¿s Republic of China. China American University (CAU) is an educational joint venture between China Investment Company (CIC) and American University (AU) in the U.S. that resulted in naming CAU a branch campus of AU. Data were acquired through semi-structured interviews, surveys, and participant observations. The researcher interviewed, surveyed and observed U.S. administrators and executives, American teachers, Chinese students, and Chinese staff. The Internationalization concept of Knight and de Wit (1999) and National Culture: Four Dimensions concept of Hofstede (1980) were utilized for the analysis. Human Capital Theory helped explain the rationale behind the Chinese¿ acceptance of an American education in China. This study concluded that there are many challenges of administering such a Sino-U.S. joint venture campus in China. As the literature review, research data, and analysis in this study suggested, administering a Sino-U.S. joint venture campus in China requires a broad understanding of the host country and a significant amount of flexibility. The researcher also found that the Chinese are concerned about the quality of such programs. Therefore, more research is needed to understand how American the so-called American education is in China, including what the standards are and who is, as Knight (2004) says, ¿monitoring¿ and ¿assuring the relevance and quality¿ of such programs (p. 84). Conclusions and recommendations were made in the light of the data collected throughout this study.

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