Category: Transnational education

TNE opportunities and barriers in Morocco

“What many people probably don’t appreciate about Morocco is its growing status as an economic and cultural bridge between Europe and Africa”

One thing that Covid-19 has taught us about UK universities’ approach to international engagement is the critical importance of diversifying across countries and regions, writes John Mcnamara, Global Research Manager at the British Council.

While Asia remains key for student recruitment and transnational education, opportunities in newly emerging markets is assuming a greater priority.

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How do we define ‘teaching excellence’ in an increasingly globalised world?

“In today’s interconnected, multicultural and globalised world, having a definition of teaching excellence that only works in one place, culture or language is meaningless”

‘What is teaching excellence?’ is a question we ask a lot. We ask it to ourselves, to our award winners and to our members. Predictably, we tend to get wildly different answers depending on who we ask, says Advance HE’s Assistant Director – International, Becky Smith.

A National Teaching Fellowship award winner working at a circus school in Canada once said it was a ‘magic trick’, and for many it may be. Ask a student who their best teacher is, or was, and they’ll be able to tell you in a flash, but they’re far less likely to be able to tell you why.

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Cross-border cooperation is key to improving TNE recognition

“Adopt a strategic approach and long-term commitment to partnership building”

The UK regulatory and quality assurance landscape for transnational education has undergone significant change since 2018, when the contract that the then-Higher Education Funding Council for England had with QAA for conducting in-country TNE reviews ended.

In England, the statutory responsibility for safeguarding the quality and standards of English TNE rests with the Office for Students, which is currently looking into developing better data on TNE to inform its metrics-based approach to quality assessment.

A challenge so far has been a lack of data comparable to UK-based students about graduate outcomes for TNE students that is comparable to data collected for UK-based students. Fabrizio Trifirò of Ecctis (the operators of UK ENIC, formerly UK NARIC) explains.

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XJTLU: breaking barriers to reach the future

“We wanted to create an international university in China and a Chinese university recognised internationally”

The future of education is about bringing together multiple worlds. To create a robust higher education sector, universities need to form partnerships with each other, industry, and the community. It Is also beneficial to blend teaching methods and philosophies. Youmin Xi of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University explains.

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The new international university aiming to promote women in STEM

“Through my work, I hope I can create opportunities for women”

Like many countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe, Georgia has conservative socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes. Change comes slowly in this environment, but we have made significant progress in creating a more enabling environment for gender integration and equality in recent years.

There are no longer any legislative barriers to gender equality in Georgia, but the statistics for school enrolment reveal cultural mindsets that maintain the status quo.

There is parity in enrolment rates among boys and girls at primary and secondary school levels but gender norms and prejudices kick in strongly after school. Kutaisi International University (KIU) Chancellor Magda Magradze explains.

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Global recognition of TNE qualifications needed to combat “mistrust and resistance”

“Covid-19 is a sad reminder that global challenges need global solutions, and global cooperation” 

In order to underpin the growth of quality and needed transnational education, it is important to build trust across borders, and work together with the international community to develop shared solutions that meet the quality assurance needs of different stakeholders, writes Fabrizio Trifirò, head of quality benchmark services at UK NARIC.

Covid-19 is a sad reminder that global challenges need global solutions, and global cooperation. The internationalisation of education has been raising challenges that require the international education community to come together to explore and develop shared solutions. This need has only been strengthen by the current world health crisis.

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A new tool to improve international recognition of TNE qualifications

“UK NARIC has been working to develop an enhanced service aimed at improving international understanding and confidence in TNE qualifications”

 

The TNE Quality Benchmark scheme will be an important tool to inform UK NARIC international engagement aimed at improving the recognition climate for TNE qualifications of demonstrated standards, quality and relevance, writes Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro. Fabrizio Trifiro is head of Quality Benchmark Services at UK NARIC.

As education systems and institutions worldwide are trying to adjust and respond to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, transnational education (TNE), and in particular online modes of delivery, can become an increasingly important way to sustain international activity and growth going forward.

Students might not be allowed to return to their university’s campus, and many international students might not be able to travel or might not want to take the risk to travel until the likelihood of further peaks of Covid-19 and further lockdown measures have receded.

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TNE must deliver portable qualifications that will be recognised internationally

“At times, regulations developed to safeguard students and societies… can hinder the achievement of the very benefits associated with TNE”

Cross-border cooperation and coordination are needed to reap the full benefits of transnational education, writes Fabrizio Trifiro. Fabrizio is the recently-appointed Head of Quality Benchmark Services at UK NARIC and was formerly at the UK QAA where he led on the quality assurance of TNE.

From my experience in the external quality assurance of UK TNE over a number of years, I appreciate the key challenges and opportunities facing TNE providers, students, and sending and receiving countries’ authorities; and also some of the priorities to focus on, to fully achieve the benefits that can come from TNE.

The challenges of TNE are several, but it is with a firm sight to its potential benefits that they need to be looked at. TNE is a way to make available education programmes to people who would not otherwise be able to access them because they are unwilling or unable to move internationally, be it for financial, family, work, or visa-related reasons.

TNE has, therefore, the inherently progressive potential to widen international access to quality and relevant education, in particular in locations where there is unmet demand, contributing to the development of skills needed to support social and economic development.

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Could transparency drive better deals for TNE?

“With the number of HEIs delivering UK education overseas growing, universities face a challenge”

To hear that a competitor is worse off than yourself is not always an unpleasant experience. But what if you don’t have a clue what colleagues are paying for a similar service? This is the issue faced by the majority of universities which are paying publishers to give transnational students and staff access to academic content. 

Currently, each of the UK higher education institutions (catering for transnational education (TNE) students, needs to negotiate contracts with a myriad of publishers to give those students the same access to journals, databases and e-books as they do to their registered students in the UK. There’s little transparency and consistency around the licencing content agreements between libraries and publishers which leads to confusion and inconsistency.

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The climate clock is ticking – is the international education sector listening?

“Travel-related carbon emissions originating from international education are a sustainability problem that cannot be ignored”

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time; we need rapid action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. To reduce carbon-related emission we need action from governments, industries and individuals across the globe.

Towards this backdrop, the travel-related carbon emissions originating from international education are a sustainability problem that cannot be ignored. However, hitherto, the international education industry has been a laggard when it comes to discussing and tackling the issue of climate change. For instance, many international education strategies and key industry conferences have either overlooked or marginalised this topic.

Improved awareness of the carbon footprint of this industry would be the first step. After that, institutions need to start measuring their international education related carbon footprints and start taking actions to reduce their emissions.

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