International quality assured

December 8, 2016

Your report on a paper I delivered at the 11th European Quality Assurance Forum questioned the value of quality assurance guidelines for transnational education (“Global guidelines for TNE 'may be too challenging'”, News, 22 November).

In fact, international and national guidelines for the quality assurance of TNE are very useful indeed. It is their implementation at a global level that is challenging without strengthened cooperation. The Unesco/OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education, for example, have played a crucial role in raising awareness about cooperation between nations to “protect students from low-quality provision and disreputable providers”.

Since then, different initiatives have sought to respond to Unesco/OECD’s call to collaborate, including a successful project led by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education that produced a toolkit on the ways quality agencies might enhance cooperation across borders.

Closer to home, and on behalf of the UK higher education funding bodies, the Quality Assurance Agency is consulting on a new review process for TNE. Continuing to evolve and improve our own approach to TNE is crucial, ensuring that it remains fit for purpose as the importance of this type of provision continues to grow.

Fabrizio Trifirò
International adviser
Quality Assurance Agency

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