Branding of Germany’s Transnational Education and its Potentials in the Arabian Gulf Region

Sanaa Ashour


Transnational education (TNE), responding to the growing global demand for education, plays a fundamental role in the current debate on the internationalisation and globalisation of higher education. Conducting a systematic literature review, this paper examines the characteristics of German transnational education, which has little in common with the American and British models, the reasons for its limited presence in the Gulf and its potential for having a stronger footprint. Since education for Germany is a public good, financial gain has never been a decisive factor for German universities to venture abroad. Whilst the Gulf Region is the largest importer of foreign education, German TNE is only represented by one university there, compared to the overwhelming number of US, UK and Australian higher education institutions. Although the Gulf Region is considered as a lucrative and appealing market for foreign education, lack of engagement of German TNE there could be interpreted through public policy-related reasons. Since Germany has already established its footprint in creating a unique brand of TNE, the paper recommends to build upon the country’s expertise in low-risk option for Germany to invest in the Gulf. For this to materialise, Germany must build awareness of its unique brand to stand out among the competition. 

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