When it comes to academic innovation, Americans have long been accustomed to the traffic being mainly one way. From standardized testing to distance learning and alumni fund-raising, what happens on U.S. campuses this year will probably happen 5 or 10 years later in the rest of the world.

But the growth of joint- and dual-degree programs in Asia, Australia and above all Europe has left Americans in the unfamiliar position of playing catch-up.

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