"You're the boss of me now, but one day I'll go it alone" (News, 8 November) considered the interesting question of whether an international branch campus might eventually seek independence from its parent university. It might also have acknowledged that it is possible for international collaborative universities to be established that are in many respects independent from the outset.
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, founded in 2006, is one example of this kind of autonomous joint-venture governance model. With 5,800 students, it is the largest international collaborative university in China. It is also among the largest branch campuses in the world, based on the wider definition of the term recently adopted by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Independence comes in various forms.
David Sadler, Vice-president, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Pro vice-chancellor, University of Liverpool