In response to the lack of international standards for defining and monitoring Transnational Education (TNE), the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have launched a new framework and data collection guidelines to facilitate a better understanding of TNE on a global scale. The research was presented in London at the Going Global Conference.
Brenda McMahon, British Council Global Head of Higher Education said:
”During the past year, we have consulted with over 100 senior policy makers and higher education experts on four continents. We have built significant momentum and have moved beyond data collection to a wider debate about the impact of TNE and how different models can benefit host countries in different ways.”
DAAD Secretary General Dr Dorothea Rüland said:
“The report incorporates feedback, advice and shared knowledge from more than 35 countries and, is truly an international effort. Two years ago, the DAAD and the British Council called upon the international community to work together for a better understanding of TNE on a global scale so that governments, agencies and universities can keep an eye on student numbers, types of courses, and quality assurance arrangements. The framework and guidelines are a real milestone.”
The research suggests there is confusion around TNE terminology, with more than 40 different terms being used to describe international programme and provider mobility.
The implications are significant: the lack of a common understanding of the terms raises concerns related to appropriate quality assurance processes, qualification recognition procedures, registration of new providers or programmes, completion rates and the collection of programme level information and enrolment data. The report authors call for a shared understanding and consistent use of TNE terms across countries.
This all points to a challenge that requires the attention of higher education and TNE stakeholders. The authors hope that the proposed common TNE Classification Framework is an important step towards developing such a practical and analytical framework.