further & higher education

Raising Standards of Transnational Higher Education

further & higher education

08:45 - 16:00

Thursday 5 December 2019

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, Jisc 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:
  • Nick Holland, Competition and Registration Directorate Team, Office for Students (OfS) 
  • Emma Athawes, TNE Business Development Manager, Jisc
  • 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


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 increase in TNE activities since 2010 and the impact that this has had on the UK’s higher education sector
  • Understanding how OfS will work with UK universities to ensure that oversees campuses are providing a fulfilling experience for all students
  • Discussing the dominance of UK Universities in some international education markets, such as Malaysia, and how this will impact universities global outlook
  • Sharing the future of transnational education for UK universities, including possible growth and increased international partnerships

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


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: Implementing Effective Connections to Ensure Positive Student Experiences

  • Understanding the journey taken by Queen Mary University of London when trying to improve the connectivity between their London campus and their Medicine and Dentistry School based in Malta 
  • Exploring the challenges faced by Queen Mary University when trying to implement an effective connectivity network, such as meeting deadlines abroad and providing the same experience as students in London 
  • Discussing how Queen Mary’s utilised Jisc’s global connect service to provide a seamless connection between London and Malta which allowed for further growth within the university
  • Sharing recommendations from Queen Mary University’s experience with implementing this network, including planning for the future to allow for the growth in student numbers 

Professor Colin Grant, Vice Principal – International,  Queen Mary’s University (invited)


Case Study: Successfully Working in Partnership to Expand TNE Activities

  • Understanding how the University of Liverpool has worked closely with Xi’an Jiaotong University to establish the largest international joint venture university in China 
  • Outlining the key elements needed for creating a successful, ongoing relationship with Chinese partners, including setting up outstanding communication channels 
  • Highlighting how the University of Liverpool became the first and only cooperative university to be approved by the Ministry of Education in China, and the impact this has had on the teaching and learning that the university can provide
  • Examining the progress of opening the campus by 2020 and achieving the aim of attracting 6,000 additional students yearly from 2025

Professor Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, University of Liverpool (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Utilising Technology to Improve Connectivity and Student Success in Transitional Education

  • Discussing the findings from the digital experience insights survey pilot, aimed at discovering staff and student experience of educational technology provisions on a global scale
  • Understanding the support offered by Jisc to both establish and develop TNE activities by improving the technology that helps staff and students access necessary materials at home or overseas
  • Exploring how Jisc’s UK TNE tech special interest group can provide a vital network to share best practice and advice from across the higher education sector, and foster further TNE activities
  • Outlining the importance of ensuring a reliable network overseas through established connectivity networks, and the positive impact this will have on staff and student experiences

Emma Athawes, TNE Business Development Manager, Jisc (CONFIRMED)


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 transnational 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)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


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 (invited)


Case Study: Ensuring an Outstanding Student Experience Through State-of-the-Art Estates Overseas

  • Outlining the progress of the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in Dubai
  • Understanding how the University of Birmingham worked closely with Dubai authorities to establish this campus
  • Exploring how the design for this Dubai campus will encourage collaboration across all academic disciplines through the use of flexible learning spaces and formal teaching spaces 
  • Highlighting how the campus design will ensure teaching and research are able to work in tandem to benefit both the students learning and the University’s research output
  • Sharing the journey to expanding the course offering at University of Birmingham Dubai by expanding teaching facilities and providing purpose built student housing

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Birmingham (invited)


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)



Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

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. 

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 transnational education. 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. 

In order to stay as one of the leading countries for international education, universities must continue to improve existing transnational 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. 

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