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


Registration, Refreshments & Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

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


Interactive Session: Setting the Scene and Having Your Voice Heard

The day will begin with a 20 minute interactive session, led by the Chair, in which delegates will be able to ask questions, raise their key concerns and inform the Chair of what they would like to discuss during the course of the day.

This will inform debate and direct the conversation throughout the day so that attendees are confident that their most pressing concerns and desired learning objectives will be covered.


Morning 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: 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 and Director 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 based on dual awards rather than joint degrees or franchised provision
  • Understanding how the standards in a dual award can be ensured and raised though “synergistic constructive alignment”
  • Exploring how the universities worked together to make developments to the local curriculum to ensure that the quality of education and student experience was maintained but also mutually beneficial for both institutions
  • Discussing the benefits experienced by both institutions within this partnership, including offering internationalisation opportunities for staff and students at both universities and also helping the University of Lincoln to establish a hub in Malaysia from which to expand their TNE activities
  • Highlighting the key lessons learnt from the establishment and development of this partnership

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


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. 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.

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

David Cobham is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy who has been teaching, researching and providing consultancy in I.T. and Information Systems for over 35 years. His interests span business, computing and education having originally graduated in Economics and then completed postgraduate programmes in Mathematics at Kings College London and Computer Science at City, University of London, then a PhD in Information Systems and Constructive Alignment in Higher Education. Throughout his career he has been a departmental leader previously holding the posts of Head of School/Department of Computer Science, Dean of Faculty and Head of College of Science.

He has also been at the forefront of designing innovative programmes in transnational education and has published work and presented papers at conferences in the UK and overseas on these topics. Amongst his publications is the core university text “Business Information Systems: Analysis Design and Practice”, which has been reprinted, translated and run to six editions with over 450 citations recorded on Google Scholar, and most recently, “Synergistic Constructive Alignment: A Mapping Toolkit for the Generation of TNE Dual Awards” in Transnational Higher Education in Computing Courses. Springer, 2019.

Kelvin Everest, Formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director for Academic Affairs in China, University of Liverpool 

Kelvin Everest is Emeritus Bradley Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Liverpool. He was Dean of Arts at Liverpool for three years before serving for ten years as Pro-Vice-Chancellor with the brief of Education in the University. He chaired the University’s Heritage Committee and had oversight of the University’s preparations for Liverpool Capital of Culture in 2008.  He was Director for Academic Affairs in China for three years, with particular responsibility to develop the University’s new venture of a University in Suzhou, Xian Jiaotong Liverpool University.

Professor Everest’s research interests are in English poetry of the Romantic period.

Dr Alison Felce, Head of Accreditation and International Services, Quality Assurance Agency

Dr Alison Felce is the QAA’s Head of Accreditation and International Services which include International Quality Review, Transnational Education, International bespoke projects, training and consultancy. Alison has worked at the QAA for two years. Her original career was as a Construction Manager before she moved into lecturing in higher education and roles in learning and teaching including responsibility for work-based learning and placement learning across the University. Alison’s experience in higher education includes developing, managing and quality assuring UK and international collaborative partnerships.

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

Inger-Lise Moen has worked at the University of London Worldwide for over 15 years. Her current role includes oversight of two interrelated strands of work: The governance within UOL Worldwide and oversight of the University’s Teaching Centre Recognition Framework, which is in place to ensure that the 120+ third party institutions that are granted formal recognition by the UOL to deliver its open, flexible and distance learning programmes meet and continue to meet a set of quality criteria for recognition.

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

Professor Simon Guy is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital, Global, Development) at Lancaster University. Prior to this, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Lancaster and was recently seconded as Interim Principal/CEO for University Academy 92.

Simon was previously Head of the School of Environment, Education and Development and founding Director of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre at the University of Manchester. He has published around sixty refereed articles, over thirty book chapters and six books. Simon has been responsible for around £4.5m of research income and established links with academics in North America, Asia and Europe and has held research fellowships in Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Graz, Leuven, California and Singapore.

John Bramwell, Senior Higher Education Advisor (Systems Reform), British Council

John Bramwell is the British Council’s Head of Education Systems Review and Senior HE Advisor

He authored the Mexico /UK Treaty on Mutual Recognition of Qualifications and was awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle by President Pena Nieto.

He previously established and managed an F/HE institute in Tripoli, a Quality Assurance and Research Centre in Kazakhstan, and a UK /Oman Enterprise Unit, following over 20 years in UK HE senior management, and a career in systems consultancy.

He is an active member of several commissions for Higher Education reform and leads the development of a Maghreb HE ‘hub’.

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