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Merger Watch: Mergers in higher education are global. Here are lessons for US colleges.


Two of Japan’s most prestigious universities sign a pact to merge. Hundreds of students protest a decision to merge their university with two others in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. In Scotland, students and the wider community are being asked to weigh in on a proposed merger of three colleges to create an “anchor institution” within the University of the Highlands and Islands.

What can we learn from these pieces of news? First, that mergers in higher education are a global phenomenon. Second, that mergers are being pursued in many countries to enhance global competitiveness. Third, that mergers inevitably arouse opposition.


Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, MBA

A educator-scientist-executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, research, and healthcare, Dr. Azziz currently serves as Regents’ Professor, Augusta University; Senior Fellow, American Association of State Colleges & Universities; Visiting Scholar, Pullias Center for Higher Education, University of Southern California; and former founding CEO, Georgia Regents Health System.