This new, innovative scheme is a public demonstration of the UK’s commitment to quality in our higher education system. It also helps UK degree awarding bodies improve and enhance the quality of their international provision.
The UK has always had an open and transparent approach to quality and QAA has conducted reviews of our provision overseas since we were founded in 1997.
Commissioned by Universities UK and GuildHE and shaped in close consultation with the sector, the QE-TNE program is open to all UK degree-awarding bodies engaging in TNE. It will help participants enhance the quality of their offering through continuous improvement, by gaining insights into overseas markets, and through shared best practice.
Vivienne Stern, director of Universities UK International has said, “We welcome the launch of the QE-TNE Scheme, which demonstrates a commitment both to strengthening the quality of UK transnational education, and to safeguarding confidence in the countries which host it.”
“UK higher education is delivered across the globe and has an international reputation for excellence,” Chair of GuildHE and vice-chancellor of Harper Adams University, David Llewellyn, has said.
“The launch of QAA’s new QE-TNE Scheme will allow providers of higher education to develop this reputation as we all seek to safeguard and enhance the quality of UK teaching and learning delivered abroad.”
QE-TNE is the only recognised TNE quality enhancement scheme for UK higher education that has been developed with and for the sector. Participation will be identifiable to students through a QE-TNE kitemark for the institution and their TNE partners.
Participants will benefit from access to a suite of published reports, toolkits, thematic analyses, guidance and dissemination workshops drawn together by QAA.
The review program consists of a published schedule of country-specific activity, in March 2021 QAA announced the first three countries that will be participating in the program for the 2021-22 academic year:
- the United Arab Emirates
Last week at QAA’s Annual Conference, I was delighted to announce that the participating countries for 2022-23 will be:
- People’s Republic of China
- Sri Lanka
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
QAA has worked closely with UK and international agencies and institutions in developing the QE-TNE scheme. A key aspect of the scheme is that evaluations are conducted with involvement of the ‘host’ country agencies, building trust and confidence in UK institutions.
Countries have been selected based on a range of factors such as the existing strong links they have with UK universities, as well as the size or growth of their higher education systems.
The launch of the scheme has been warmly welcomed by regulators and quality bodies in the ‘host’ countries.
“This will help to develop a quality enhanced environment that will be in the best interests of the most important stakeholder, the student”
President of the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education in Egypt Youhansen Eid, has also expressed her support saying, “NAQAAE strongly supports the QE-TNE scheme, acknowledging that it will add to the quality of UK-TNE provided in Egypt. This will help to develop a quality enhanced environment that will be in the best interests of the most important stakeholder, the student, as well as the entire Egyptian Higher Education system.”
I’m also really pleased to see how warmly the scheme is being welcomed by students.
“From bringing best practice back to your institution to establishing a global baseline of quality across partner institutions, students can rest assured they will receive the best experience possible through this scheme,” Alex Hedlund, vice president of Academic Affairs at Heriot-Watt University Students’ Union has said. “I strongly encourage every HEI to sign up and reap the rewards.”
A full overview of what is on offer as part of the QE-TNE scheme can be found in our QE-TNE webpages.
Degree awarding bodies who wish to register for the scheme can apply through a short online form. If you require any further information or would like to discuss details of the QE-TNE program, please contact TNE@qaa.ac.uk.
About the author:
Douglas Blackstock is Chief Executive Officer of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.