Transnational higher education is big business. However, it is unclear what transnational universities must do to behave in a responsible way or to gain a social licence to operate. Examining the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) and Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), we discuss what universities could do to gain approval from host communities. They have to meet home and host country regulations, and the expectations of local communities and other stakeholders. Consideration of their social licence and of the negative and positive social impacts they create will contribute to their reputation and ability to access local knowledge. To earn a social licence to operate and grow, universities must understand and respond to their local context, share benefits with local communities, and have effective community engagement practices. In the universities we studied, there was limited information provided to community stakeholders and poor stakeholder engagement. However, high levels of trust from residents existed, partly because of the good reputation of universities generally.
关键词: university social responsibility, university-community engagement, campus sustainability, social impact assessment, environmental, social and governance factors, studentification, higher education management, university management