further & higher education

Transnational Education (TNE): Raising Standards and Building Partnerships

further & higher education

08:45 - 15:40

Thursday 5 December 2019

Prospero House- etc Venues, Central London

This Forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss the future of transnational higher education and how to improve the quality of education for transnational students. Participants will hear from key organisations such as Office for Students, The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the British Council on the latest methods for ensuring a high standard of teaching and learning across all campuses and schools globally.  In addition to this, best practice case studies will share guidance on how to successfully collaborate with international partners, the impact that technology has had on improving standards of teaching globally and creating innovate estates to improve the student experience. 


This Forum is specifically designed for the Higher Education Sector. Job titles will include:

  • Principles
  • Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors
  • Heads of Quality Assurance
  • Collaboration Managers
  • Heads of Quality Standards
  • Directors of Student Services
  • Heads of Student Support
  • Associate and Deputy Deans
  • Student Experience Coordinators and Managers
  • Heads of Recruitment
  • Quality Managers

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector in order to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • John Bramwell, Director of Education, British Council
  • Dr Alison Felce, Accreditation and International Services Operations Manager, The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
View the agenda and additional speakers

Over 700,00 students’ study on UK TNE programmes every year, with the majority of these students learning in 5 countries; Malaysia, China, Singapore, Pakistan and Nigeria. This number is 1.6 times higher than the number of international students studying in UK universities. TNE activities currently contribue more than £600 million to the UK economy annually.

Universities UK released a report on International Facts and Figures 2019 which outlines the current landscape of transnational education and the international dimensions of the UK higher education sector. This report outlined that between 2017-2018 139 UK universities provided some form of TNE activity in over 225 countries worldwide. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) published the Transnational Education Review Handbook in April 2019 which lays out how the QAA will conduct Transnational Education Reviews in order to ensure the academic quality and standard of overseas education.

To further support UK higher education institutions the government released the International Education Strategy- global potential, global growth in March 2019, this document sets out the government’s aims for supporting and growing international education exports, including TNE activities. The Government has set out five key actions that they will look to carry out to ensure an increase in education exports, including making £5 million available to the education sector from the GREAT Challenge Fund.

Universities UK, Guild HE and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) have launched a consultation on Transnational Higher Education looking to discuss the quality of TNE exports. With four in five universities in the UK offering TNE activities it is vital to ensure that the quality of these programs stays at a high standard.

In order to stay as one of the leading countries for international education, universities must continue to improve existing TNE activities, as well as establish new international partnerships to strengthen the UK’s higher education holding in a time of great uncertainty. With the looming Brexit deadline, universities must have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with TNE provisions to ensure that the quality of education does not decline.

Dr Neil Kemp, Board Member, Council for Education in the Commonwealth

Dr Neil Kemp OBE: the presenter is an international higher education consultant and Board Member of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth. He was previously Director Education UK at the British Council as well as the organisation’s Director in a number of countries. He has been a Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, University College, London, and Board Member at both the Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, and the Open University Worldwide.


Registration, Refreshments & Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Catherine Montgomery, Professor of International Higher Education, University of Durham (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Landscape of Transnational Education within the UK Higher Education Sector

  • Exploring the context for the OfS’s regulation of TNE
  • Understanding how OfS regulates English HE providers to ensure that overseas campuses are providing a fulfilling experience for all students
  • Discussing regulation and the future of TNE for UK universities, including possible growth and increased international partnerships

Nick Holland, Competition and Registration Directorate Team, Office for Students (OfS) (invited)


Special Keynote: Transnational Education Review: Ensuring High Quality Education Overseas

  • Outlining the QAA TNE Review process, including how it will test policies and processes concerned with ensuring the continued standard and quality of the TNE provision
  • Exploring how this review process will help to disseminate good practice across the UK higher education sector from across a variety of TNE activities
  • Understanding the aims of a TNE review, including enhancing the international reputation of UK higher education institutions
  • Highlighting the future of transnational education and the impact that it will have on the UK higher education sector’s international reputation

Dr Alison Felce, Accreditation and International Services Operations Manager, The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Increasing Student Engagement in Transnational Education

  • Outlining how the University of London have established a partnership to with a local Recognised Teaching Centre in Malaysia to offer University  of London degrees
  • Understanding how the University of London have implemented initiatives to ensure distance, flexible and blended learning are engaged with their learning and are going to achieve the best possible outcomes
  • Discussing the potential barriers to engaging with students oversees, especially those who are distance learners, and how to overcome these

Inger-Lise Moen, Deputy Director of Quality, Standards and Governance, University of London (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Establishing Partnerships to Increase International Impact

  • Outlining the University of Kent’s transnational education activities including overseas campuses and collaborative projects to offer dual or joint degrees
  • Understanding how the rise in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will impact how universities are able to deliver TNE activities
  • Discussing how the University of have established specialist study centres across Europe to offer dual UK and European qualifications at both undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • Exploring the key challenges facing UK Universities when establishing international partnerships including increasing staff mobility to ensure high levels of teaching standards overseas

Dr Anthony Manning, Dean of Internationalisation, University of Kent (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Successfully Expanding TNE Activities to Widen Impact

  • Understanding how the University of Liverpool created a successful partnership with X’iaotong University to establish the largest international joint venture university in China, XJTLU
  • Highlighting how the university is aiming to increase student numbers across two campuses by offering a combination of face-to-face teaching and blended learning
  • Outlining how creating successful TNE activities can help widen the influence of universities and ensure that institutions increase their global reach
  • Exploring how XJTLU became the first and only cooperative university to be approved by the Ministry of Education in China

Professor Kelvin Everest, Formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs in China, University of Liverpool (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Special Keynote: Exploring the Future of Transnational Education in a Post-Brexit World

  • Understanding how the demand for higher education will grow on a global scale due to an increase in the global population as well as a higher demand for a skilled workforce
  • Exploring the challenges facing universities when trying to grow their oversees activities, including competition from other countries and handling the expectations of other countries in wishing to engage with the UK
  • Discussing the future trends in the nature of TNE activities including the increased flexibility and the accommodation of alternative methods of learning
  • Outlining the future of TNE activities post-brexit, including the importance of professional recognition
  • Sharing predictions on how the UK’s TNE activities will grow in coming years: will it stay in line with the current trend of steady growth?

John Bramwell, Director of Education, British Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Establishing Global Partnerships to Improve Educational Offering for Students

  • Understanding how Lancaster University have established overseas branches and partnerships in Ghana, Germany, China and Malaysia
  • Exploring the importance of global partnerships for sharing teaching and research excellence across the globe
  • Discussing the challenges that Lancaster University encountered when establishing a joint institute with Beijing Jiatong University, including effectively replicating the Lancaster University experience in China
  • Sharing guidance on how Lancaster University overcame these challenges by adapting teaching styles to better suit Chinese students whilst still providing the same quality of education

Professor Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital, Global and Development), Lancaster University (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Ensuring the Quality of Education when Establishing Global Partnerships

  • Outlining how the University of Lincoln established a partnership with the KDU University College in Malaysia to offer a wide variety dual award degrees
  • Understanding how the University of Lincoln ensured the quality of the education provided by KDU University College was ensured by implementing a team of link tutors to moderate assessments
  • Exploring how the universities worked together to make developments to the local curriculum to ensure that the quality of education was maintained but also mutually beneficial for both institutions
  • Discussing the benefits experienced by both institutions within this partnership, including offering opportunities for international travel for staff and students at both universities and also helping the University of Lincoln to establish a hub in Malaysia to expand their TNE activities from
  • Highlighting the key lessons learnt from the establishment of this partnership, including the importance of accepting cultural differences that can impact teaching and learning provisions

Dr David Cobham, Associate PVC & Dean for Global Engagement, University of Lincoln (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Exploring the Global Demand for Assisted Distance Learning

  • Understanding the current global landscape of distance learning and the decline in appetite for these
  • Exploring evidence from across the global higher education landscape for distance learning courses and understanding the future direction for distance delivered degree programmes
  • Discussing the considerations of integration approaches involving other delivery modes, partnerships, blended learning and the impact of MOOCs
  • Highlighting key factors that higher education institutions need to consider when looking to grow successful international distance learning degree programmes

Dr Neil Kemp OBE, Board Member, Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Panel Discussion: Understanding the Importance of Transnational Education in a Post-Brexit World

Hear from and gain insights from leading experts as they debate how the higher education sector will continue to provide education on a global scale after Brexit and what this will mean for any potential joint institutions within Europe and beyond.

Delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the potential challenges that they will face post-brexit and beyond with the panel and audience.

  • Professor Mary Stiasny, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), University of London (invited)
  • Claire Nixon, Deputy Director of Academic Services (Quality and Development), University of Essex (invited)
  • Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Birmingham (invited)
  • Professor Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital, Global and Development), Lancaster University (invited)



Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

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