The Operation of Transnational Degree and Diploma Programs: The Australian Case

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1 The Operation of Transnational Degree and Diploma Programs: The Australian Case Tony Adams, i Abstract The development of an export oriented international student program in Australia in the mid 1980 s provided the impetus for Australian higher education institutions to take their programs offshore. Now a decade later, 34 of Australia s 38 universities are offering 493 programs offshore to an estimated 20,000 students, predominately undertaking Australian qualifications in their own country (AVCC, 1997). This paper discusses the various models that Australian higher education institutions have used to develop these transnational programs including twinning, moderation, distance mode, joint awards, internet delivery, franchising and campus models, and explores a number of issues in their delivery including; why programs are offered offshore, quality assurance and the rules and regulations of the home country. Background International education in a substantive sense commenced in Australia in the mid 1980 s with the decision by the Australian Government to move from an international student program based on Australian Government subsidies to an export based private student program supported by specific aid funded places available to developing countries. This change in policy became the catalyst for the development of an export industry across all sectors of education leading to a growth from 7,131 international students in 1987 to 143,067 in 1996 (DEETYA, 1997). In 1996, there were 53,939 international students in higher education, 37,759 in vocational education, 15,289 in schools and 36,080 in English language colleges. The total expenditure of these students totaled approximately USD 2 billion of which 43% was made up of fees and the remainder in goods and services. Approximately 50% of this expenditure involved students in higher education. DEETYA reported that in 1996, students from Malaysia (6,425), Singapore (5,939), Hong Kong (4,362), and Indonesia (2,478) dominated the higher education category with 48% studying business, science 11%, arts and humanities 10% and engineering 10%. Four universities dominate the market with collectively 34% of higher education students. They were Monash University (Melbourne) 5447 international students, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) 4989, University of New South Wales (Sydney) 3979 and Curtin University of Technology (Perth) McKay (1998) reports that export education in 1996/7 at a value of (USD2.0billion) was the 6 th largest export of goods and services after tourism (USD5.6billion), coal (USD5.3billion), Gold (USD3.2billion), wheat (USD3.1billion) and iron (USD2.1billion). Since the mid 1980 s Australian institutions have moved to develop offshore (or transnational) programs as well as offering places onshore in Australia. Predominately these programs operate as Australian Degree or Diploma programs either totally offshore or in a combination of offshore and onshore delivery in Australia. The term twinning program has been loosely and often inaccurately used to describe these arrangements. The figures reported by DEETYA tell only part of this story and do not adequately show the impact of transnational programs. The figures are collected by an annual return process by DEETYA and include all

2 international students appearing on university data bases as normal mode (on campus) or external (distance education) students. The extent to which on campus mode students refer to offshore students in these figures is not clear, and subject to individual university interpretation. International students studying Australian programs offshore in their own countries may or may not be enrolled formally on university data bases, or may not be in categories that are reported by DEETYA. Baker et.al. (1995) reports over 2000 international students studying RMIT programs offshore (this had grown to 4500 by 1997). These students are largely not included in the national figures and would suggest that the 1996 figures understate international student numbers by at least 20,000 students who are studying offshore largely in their own countries (McKay, 1998). The export impact of these students may be in excess of USD20million. The Australian Vice Chancellor s Committee has also attempted to collect information on offshore programs via a survey process that collects partner information from universities, but not student numbers or financial information (AVCC, 1997). This document shows that 34 of Australia s 38 universities report offshore programs with a total of 493 individual degree, diploma or similar programs in 24 countries Australian Offshore Source: (AVCC, 1997) Programs Country Number of Programs Malaysia Singapore Hong Kong China Indonesia Vietnam United Arab Emirates 7.00 USA 7.00 New Zealand 5.00 Fiji 5.00 Thailand 5.00 Pakistan 3.00 South Africa 2.00 Philippines 2.00 Japan 2.00 Portugal 1.00 United Kingdom 1.00 India 1.00 Mauritius 1.00 Korea 1.00 Papua New Guinea 1.00 Israel 1.00 Kuwait 1.00 Laos There is no doubt that the export potential of international students was the main driver that established international education in Australia successfully by the early 1990 s. By that time many universities had established international offices based on recruiting international students. In addition, a network of Australian Education Offices had been established throughout the region, funded by government and operated by IDP Education Australia, a private company collectively owned by Australian universities. Most universities had developed strong networks of agents to recruit students.

3 International Education does not only, or even predominately mean the education of foreign students as an export industry. By , many Australian universities had begun seriously to internationalise other aspects of university life. The need to provide domestic (and international) students with a global perspective led quickly to the development of student and staff exchange programs. Internationalisation of the curriculum began to be seen both implicitly and explicitly as desirable and necessary and the presence of large numbers of students of overseas origin (both migrant and international students) was seen as a way of diversifying the classroom and the experiences of all students. The Australian government requirement that international student fees be in excess of the cost of the student s education meant that in a time of decreasing government funds, income was available to fund a wider view of internationalisation, consistent with the need to produce graduates to operate globally. Number of University Transnational Programs Source: AVCC, 1997 University Number of Programs Australian Catholic University 14 Central Queensland University 42 Charles Sturt University 35 Curtin University of Technology 32 Deakin University 17 Edith Cowan University 13 Griffith University 3 James Cook University 1 La Trobe University 28 Macquarie University 8 Monash University 34 Murdoch University 9 Northern Territory University 4 Queensland University of Technology 10 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 47 Southern Cross University 8 Swinburne University of Technology 8 The Flinders University of South Australia 7 The University of Adelaide 13 The University of New England 5 The University of New South Wales 15 The University of Newcastle 8 The University of Queensland 18 The University of Sydney 8 The University of Western Australia 11 University of Ballarat 11 University of Canberra 2 University of South Australia 13 University of Southern Queensland 18

4 University of Tasmania 4 University of Technology, Sydney 7 University of Western Sydney 15 University of Wollongong 5 Victoria University of Technology 30 By the mid 1990 s Australian universities would be seen as conforming very actively to a definition of international activity that saw it as the process of integrating an international/intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service functions of the university (Knight & de Wit, 1997) The government s decision to move to an export oriented international student program and the entrepreneurial nature of institutions such as Monash, RMIT, Curtin and University of Technology Sydney (UTS), set the scene for a secondary part of the export market that took education to the student. Transnational Education: An Australian perspective Transnational, education can be defined as follows: Any teaching or learning activity in which the students are in a different country (the host country) to that in which the institution providing the education is based (the home country). This situation requires that national boundaries be crossed by information about the education, and by staff and/or educational materials (whether the information and the materials travel by mail, computer network, radio or television broadcast or other means). (GATE, 1997 This definition has effectively introduced new terminology into the discussion. An international program does not imply that the delivery crosses national boundaries. The content and/or the participants may have an international focus but the program delivery may be firmly rooted at the home university campus. An offshore program implies that the home university is operating its program offshore in a foreign (host) country. The program is being run away (offshore) from the home university campus. The implication is clearly of a one way relationship with the home country university having effective control over its foreign activities. The introduction by GATE of transnational education widens the possibilities to include networks of participating institutions ranging over geographical regions with varying academic arrangements between them. Most programs offered overseas by Australian universities presently conform to a narrow offshore definition. With time however new partnerships and academic arrangements are being forged, including the joint offering of degrees by institutions in more than one country. The definition of transnational is therefore timely and marks the growing maturity of approaches. The categories of program defined in this section provide in the author s view a framework for considering transnational programs. In reality many of the categories are talked about interchangeably and there is some overlap. Benchmarking projects such as that carried out by IDP Education Australia in 1996, have shown that even with attention to defining the terms, there is confusion and misunderstanding of the different types of programs. For example, it is easy to confuse all of Australia s offshore programs at distance learning, because they are at a distance from the home campus, even though they may be taught intensively in conventional

5 classrooms. This confusion is seen in Pidgin s 1995, research paper on Australian Offshore Education, where no distinction is made between different types of programs offered offshore from Australia and he speaks of the need to bring offshore students into the distance education framework Within the following framework, a program may have attributes in more than one category. For example, a distance education program may also have attributes of twinning or franchised programs. Since the framework is no more than a mechanism to discuss the ways in which different educational models work transnationally, this is not seen by the author as a problem. Australian institutions have broadly developed transnational programs of the following types: Twinning Programs. These are programs where an Australian university or vocational college will offer an Australian qualification with its twin, an organization in the host country. This organisation might be a private provider, a professional or industry association or a university or college. Typically in this approach, the host organisation will be responsible for local administration, marketing and recruiting, employment of local teaching staff, teaching, library and other facilities, registrations and permissions from the host government. The Australian institution (the home institution) will be responsible for the provision of the award, course materials, provision of home institution teachers, assessment and course quality, and will normally remain the owner of the intellectual property relating to the course. There are many variations on how twinning programs are offered. The complete program might be provided in the host country, or it may be split with the first part of the program in the host country and the latter part at the home (Australian) institution). In this case guarantees may be in place to ensure that students who have passed the course requirements at the host institution have a contractual right of access to the program in Australia. Another variation would be for the program to be built on an existing lower level local diploma or an Australian vocational diploma, perhaps a product of the host institution which articulates into the final period of the program at the home (Australian) institution, or offshore at the host institution. The amount of teaching undertaken by the Australian university could vary from no teaching at all, but more likely to be in the 10-25% of content range through to 100% of content in say a Masters by Coursework program. Conventionally teaching by Australian staff would be in burst mode over short periods of intensive activity. Twinning programs tend to be provided in narrow discipline areas with high local demand. Business and Information Technology programs form the mainstay, rather than resource intensive programs such as engineering or science.. Distance Learning Programs Cunningham et. al define distance education in the following way: Distance education is taken to be the provision of programs of study which provide both content and support services to students who rarely, if ever, attend for face-to-face teaching or for on-campus access to educational facilities (Cunningham et.al 1998, p23)

6 Keegan, 1986, cited by Cunningham further characterises distance education in terms of the level of local facilitation to support teaching resources. Level 1 is what Cunningham refers to as a common Australian model of no local facilitation to level 2 where local facilitation is provided. The author does not consider level 1 programs as necessarily transnational by design as they do not distinguish between domestic and international students. While Australian universities offshore provide both levels of program, it is level 2 that is of more interest because of the necessity to provide local support services to students. Typically in such programs, the home university will make an arrangement with an organisation in the host country to facilitate services to students. These may range from basic mailbox type of activities where the host organisation is merely a contact point for students and may arrange seminar facilities when necessary, through to sophisticated arrangements that mirror twinning program arrangements. In these programs, the home institution is likely to charge a fee for the provision of materials, centrally control assessment and enrolment and provide staff for seminars and other activities. RMIT s offshore distance education programs commenced in 1987 with programs in logistics in Singapore (Baker, 1996). These were developed from programs already available in Melbourne and experienced by the Singaporean Chairman of the host organisation. Baker reports that the programs used the same curriculum in Melbourne with some local modifications for Singapore s specific needs. Flexible delivery of transnational programs through a variety of mechanisms including intensive teaching, web based resources and delivery, live video conference delivery and paper and electronic based distance materials will change many of the notions of what distance education refers to and lead to greater similarity of approaches to transnationally and locally delivered programs. Franchised Programs A franchised program is likely to be a similar arrangement to a twinning program, but to involve an agreement that concentrates on the hone institution having quality control over the operation via a set of processes that maintain quality, rather than actually teaching the program. In a twinning program this might involve the home institution actually carrying out the actions necessary to maintain quality, such as teaching and assessment. In a franchised program, the home institution would develop processes to ensure the host institution maintained the necessary quality, rather than carrying out the functions itself. A franchised program solves the problem of a home institution operating in a number of locations and therefore overextending its own staff with teaching and other duties offshore. The franchise arrangement would allow a management team based in the home institution to supervise the operation of programs in many locations. Maintenance of quality becomes the central issue for the home institution, rather than directly operating the program. Disciplines are likely to be in popular areas such as for twinning programs. RMIT has recently signed an agreement with the Informatics group, a publicly listed company in Singapore (The Australian, 1998). Informatics provides Information Technology education in over 140 centres in some 23 countries. The agreement provides

7 for RMIT s Advanced Diploma of Information Technology to be franchised across Informatics network with articulation into the final year of RMIT degrees in Melbourne or other offshore locations. Franchising brings into focus a misunderstanding about the relationship between teaching by the home institution and quality of delivery. An academic department can easily fall into the view that maintenance of quality in the transnational version of the program can only be maintained by home university teaching the program. This can easily be seen as patronising and offensive to the host country and the reality can be different. By development of a language and process of audit involving control over delivery and assessment standards, teaching by the home institution becomes only one of a number of ways that quality can be assured. A franchised program also provides the opportunity to deliver programs in host country languages. For example RMIT delivers via distance education modules, a chiropractic degree in Japan in which the delivery is in Japanese. Moderated Programs In a moderated program, the home institution recognises the prior learning of students in a host institution program that is academically moderated by the home institution. This moderation may include annual checking of standards or even moderation of a percentage of assessment in each teaching period. In some cases the course in the host institution would be designed by the home institution. Students in these programs may have automatic rights into home university programs in Australia or in the host country. In all ways though, students in the host institution course are students of that organisation and not of the home institution. Offshore Campuses The definition of this term should include a quantitative increase in the hone institution s commitment through a number of potential avenues such as direct investment and part ownership of the project. It is also likely to include a wider range of activities representing the institutions profile at home such as research, student accommodation, consulting, community service and a more complete range of disciplines available to students. The operation will begin to mirror the home campus activities. Apart from claims occasionally to the contrary, there have been few actual instances of these arrangements. Baker (1996) reports activities by both RMIT and Monash in Malaysia in this direction. Monash, through an arrangement with the Sunway group of companies has signed an MOU supported and now approved by the Malaysian Government to establish what is described as a campus. RMIT in Penang, also in Malaysia has a joint venture with a local company and has established a campus with a wide range of courses, student accommodation and other facilities and activities. In Indonesia, Monash and UNSW has a joint venture with a local organisation to operate English language and a Foundation (year 12 program). In Vietnam, the then Minister for Education Professor Quan announced in 1997, that RMIT had been given approval to apply for a full campus licence in Ho Chi Minh City. Joint Award Programs A joint award is where two institutions of higher education, one in the home country and one in the host country, jointly deliver aspects of a single degree or diploma program, or some other form of jointly badged program. This approach might be regarded as a more equal academic relationship between the home and host partners who may have similar

8 discipline strengths or may have complimentary strengths that contribute to a single award of both institutions. RMIT and King Mongut Institute of Technology (KMIT) in Thailand are working towards the delivery of a masters in statistics in which students from either country complete a year at both institutions. The intention is to provide a single degree, accredited jointly by both organisations. Joint degree programs in as much as they encourage student mobility in both directions may become powerful means of internationalising the curriculum as well as leading to institutions to develop transnational educational products beyond there own capacity to deliver entirely. Delivery in Cyberspace In Singapore, the Government has introduced Singapore 1, a nation wide broadband network that will deliver interactive, multimedia applications and services to every home, school and office in Singapore (NCB, 1998). Informatics Holdings have established Informatics 1, a division of the company using the infrastructure of Singapore 1 to develop an internet capability for its education and training activity (Informatics, 1998). Informatics 1 is seen at the moment as a value added product to support existing delivery mechanisms but contains the tools within it to support the complete delivery of programs via the internet. Informatics has agreements to deliver Australian degree and diploma programs from three Australian universities across, three countries (Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia). Initiatives like Singapore 1 and Informatics 1 and those of individual universities will change substantially the way in which universities deliver transnational programs. Delivering Transnational Programs Successfully There are many elements of success in delivering programs transnationally. Pidgeon (1995) suggests the need by home institutions to embrace the following: Substantial investments and a global approach. A vision that is long term. A long term financial commitment. A willingness to accept market risk. Provision of courses that are world class in standard. Maintaining quality student support Provision of an educational process to bring students into the distance education framework Preparedness to collaborate Two of the above points relate to financial commitment and investment. This should not be taken necessarily as a direct financial investment in the partnership arrangement with the host institution, but rather a willingness to invest in home institution infrastructure to manage programs, materials, etc. His point on distance education is narrowly based and might be best modified to: Provision of appropriate educational processes for the level of the award

9 To the above list the following can be added: Selection of appropriate partners Knowledge of, and compliance with, the educational, taxation, cultural and other requirements of the host government and country. Why Offer Programs Transnationally The offering of programs transnationally has provided many opportunities for Australian higher education institutions to develop internationally. Commercial considerations must be foremost in the sense that unless the program is financially sustainable without subsidy from domestic programs, it is unlikely to survive. At a strategic level, the development of programs throughout the Asian region has enabled universities to begin to see themselves as regional or even potentially global institutions. With multiple programs in Singapore, Malaysia, China (Hong Kong) and with a growing commitment to China, Vietnam, and Japan; Australian universities such as Monash, RMIT, Curtin and Deakin may be positioning themselves for a future as regional universities. In this scenario, these universities may see themselves as having a similar or even greater number of students offshore than on their home campuses, as having direct investments and incorporated joint ventures offshore and being the subject of specific legislation to establish themselves in other countries as they have in Australia. This may also be true at the departmental level, where for example Macquarie University s Master of Applied Finance is run out of centres in a number of Australian cities as well as throughout Asia. This may produce flow on effects in terms of consulting and training opportunities. Offshore programs also serve to heighten interest in Australian based programs. RMIT has over 1500 offshore students in Singapore. It may be no accident that DEETA (1997) reports that RMIT is also the largest Australian destination for Singaporean students with some 800 students at its Melbourne campus. The enhanced visibility of the university because of its large number of students who have studied and graduated in their own country and the marketing of RMIT programs in Singapore by its partners is likely to be a significant factor in its success. The internationalization of staff experiences is also likely to lead to a number of advantages. The experience of staff in operating in foreign cultures as outsiders will impact on their attitudes in multicultural classrooms in Australia. The author had responsibility for implementation of a masters program in Singapore in The experience of the course team in making the program work in Singapore, led to a complete rethinking of how it should be run on the home campus in Melbourne. Internationalisation of the curriculum is a requirement for all students. Teaching similar material across national borders and in completely different cultures provides a powerful focus for developing inclusive case studies and teaching approaches. Program Accreditation and Quality Australian universities self accredit their programs, with accreditation by professional bodies sitting alongside course accreditation. This provides considerable flexibility in designing modes of delivery of programs (subject to satisfactory quality control mechanisms) (McKay, 1998). Conventionally therefore, programs operated offshore by Australian universities will be accredited through normal home university arrangements.

10 Where the course is moderated or otherwise owned by the host institution, then only processes to recognize the prior learning of students are required. In either case, universities such as RMIT have developed sophisticated internal approval processes that combine academic, business and legal planning. The Australian Vice Chancellor s Committee (AVCC) has published a code of ethical conduct for offshore delivery (AVCC, 1995). Quality of transnational offerings has also been of concern in other home countries. In the UK, the Higher education Quality Council (HEQC) has published both quality assurance guidelines (HEQC, 1996a) and a code of ethical practice (HEQC, 1996b), and in the US the Centre for Quality Assurance in International Education (CQAIE) has published a quality framework for offshore programs (CQAIE, 1994). Using the framework developed by the CQAIE, Professor Leo West, the then Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) of Monash University, produced a modified version for use at Monash. This was then modified again to form part of the internal approval processes at RMIT. At RMIT, these approval processes form part of ISO9002 accreditation for the university s international division (Adams T and Cruse N, 1997) The CQAIE framework ensures that questions of accreditation, host institution capability and home university commitment are dealt with. Two other forms of quality accreditation are relevant for transnational programs. The first is the International Quality Review Process (IQRP) developed as part of an OECD International Management of Higher Education (IHME) program (Knight K and de Wit H, 1997) and the formation of the Global Alliance For Transnational Education (GATE). The IQRP Pilot Project At the IMHE Seminar Strategies for Internationalisation of Higher Education held in Monterey California in October 1995, it was decided by IMHE to develop a pilot project on quality assurance in internationalisation involving three very different universities. The University of Helsinki, and Monash University, both large public universities in different cultures, and Bentley College a small private 4 year business college in Boston. All have well-developed international programs and strategies and in their different contexts are regarded as leaders in the field The pilot project aimed to: Increase awareness of the need for quality assessment and assurance in the internationalisation of higher education, Develop a review process whereby individual institutions can adapt and use a set of guidelines to assess and enhance the quality of their internationalisation strategies according to their own aims and objectives, and Strengthen the contribution that internationalisation makes to the quality of higher education The principles are of self-assessment and peer review guided by the university's own mission, recognition of differences among institutions, internationalisation of approach and application. The process aims to have the university provide a critical self-evaluation and to subject this to external peer review. It is not intended to prescribe practices or standardisation of approach. There are no comparisons of universities arising out of the process and the peer review report remains the property of the university. In summary form, the IQRP process consists of: A critical self-assessment against the IQRP

11 framework, and an external peer review process that holds up a mirror to the selfassessment The IQRP process is seen as part of the ongoing internationalisation cycle and does not preclude other processes such as those of ISO 9002, academic review processes, etc. Indeed these become part of the "evidence" of quality in the institution. In particular, it allows the university to ensure that governance, academic and research views of internationalisation are brought into the process along with explicit functions such as international student recruitment. This should be seen as a major conceptual strength of the IQRP process. An important part of the IQRP process is that it links internationalisation and in specific areas such as transnational programs into the university s overall strategy. The Global Alliance for Transnational Education (GATE) GATE was instituted in 1995 at a meeting of university, business and educational quality assurance bodies held in Denver USA. At this meeting, and a subsequent one held in London in 1996 a primary purpose of addressing quality assurance and improvement of educational programs that cross national borders (Transnational programs) was identified. This resulted in identifying a scope covering the following three areas: The provision of a database that covers quality assurance systems and procedures for higher education in all countries. Higher education includes VET level offerings. This database will also include details of all HE institutions accredited and details of transnational programs run in that country. A set of principles of good practices in transnational education, with the idea that receiver government and corporations might require institutions to adhere to these principles. A process for certification of institutions according to the above principles. Certification is to be based on whether appropriate procedures are in place and are being adhered to, fault rectification processes and whether the educational standards of transnational programs are of the same standard as at the home campus of the providing institution. GATE also has an interest in the transnational accreditation of professional qualifications. GATE has a 13 member board representing institutions, the OECD/International Management of Higher Education Project (IMHE), national quality assurance organisations in higher education (China and Chile), professional associations, the international network of quality assurance agencies, the corporate sector (Coca Cola, Eriksson). The following principles comprise the elements of the certification process and are included as they provide a checklist for thinking about the issues involved in the delivery of programs transnationally: Transnational courses must be guided by goals and objectives that are understood by participants and must fit within the provider's mission and expertise. Students receiving awards through transnational courses must be assured by the provider that these courses have been approved by the provider and meet its criteria for educational quality, and that the same standards are applied regardless of place or manner in which the courses are provided. Transnational courses must comply with all laws and approvals of the host country.

12 Participants in transnational courses must be treated equitably and ethically. In particular, all pertinent information must be disclosed to participants and each participant must hold full student status or its equivalent with the provider. The provider organisation must have a sufficient number of fully qualified people engaged in providing the transnational courses, and their activities must be supervised and regularly evaluated as a normal activity of the provider. The provider organisation must assure an adequate learning environment and resources for the transnational courses, and must provide assurances that adequate resources will continue to be available until all obligations to enrolled participants are fulfilled. Transnational courses must be pedagogically sound with respect to the methods of teaching and the nature and needs of the learner. The provider organisation must ensure that students are provided with adequate support services to maximise the potential benefit they receive from transnational courses Transnational courses must be regularly and appropriately evaluated as a normal pert of the provider organisation's activities, with the results of these evaluations being used to improve these courses. Where third parties, such as agents or collaborating institutions are involved in the transnational course, there must be explicit written agreements covering their roles, expectations and obligations. The above principles are an important contribution to the discussion on transnational programs because in implementing them either through GATE certification or as part of approval processes within institutions, perhaps without seeking certification, the major issues in operating transnational programs are dealt with and accountabilities quantified. There are many issues that arise that may be dealt with by a proper use of the principles. Is the partner appropriate? If the partner is a commercial operation, or even an institution, is it acceptable within the host culture to link a possibly prestigious university with the partner organisation without causing damage to the home university s reputation? Does the partner have the experience in education, the resources and the understanding of the local regulatory environment to operate the program? Is there a clear understanding of the investment required by one or other parties in facilities, equipment and libraries? Will students obtain appropriate academic and pastoral advice? Is the home institution's view of academic and pastoral advice appropriate in the host culture? Is there likely to be culturally or politically offensive material used? Will home university teaching staff have the cultural experience necessary to teach the program in the host country? Will host institution staff have an understanding of the cultural underpinning of the course and its delivery mechanisms? Has there been proper business, legal and regulatory planning? Are students protected reasonably from the operation ceasing because of insolvency, changes of regulations, etc?

13 Has the home institution the resources to operate the program transnationally? Are there clear understandings around academic standards, moderation of assessment, articulation and granting of awards? Is there an actual market for the program and does it meet the needs of the host country? Has it been modified for host country use in appropriate ways? Reasons why an institution might seek certification for its transnational programs or at least adhere to the above principles would include; a commitment to quality and a means of promoting this to host governments and to potential students. GATE however has a wider agenda that of promoting the use of its certification process as a way of host countries approving transnational programs and qualifications. IQRP, GATE and ISO provide complementary quality assurance frameworks. IQRP concentrates on issues of strategy and peer review of the relationship between strategy and practice. ISO provides assurance of the institutional processes and practices at a detailed level, while the GATE principles, whether certification is sought or not, provide a means for an institution to develop internal processes that assure quality over transnational offerings, and thus provides evidence for both ISO and IQRP certification. Host Country requirements All to often, discussions with a potential overseas twinning partner will proceed along the following lines. We, the potential host country partner are well connected. Our Chairman is the brother of the Presidents; nephew s best friend and we have excellent contacts right to the top of the education ministry. There will be no problem operating the program and the law does not require special permission anyway. The local end of this same discussion might be: We, the home university department have a right to operate our degree where and how we wish to maintain our academic standards. Because we don t pay tax in our country, we will be immune from tax elsewhere. These are exaggerated positions that go well beyond only Australian institutions. Furthermore, there has been an increasingly professional approach by institutions to these issues. The rules for the operation of a foreign university are likely to be quite strict and vary significantly between countries. In Malaysia for example, the regulations have since the mid 1980 s provided for foreign universities to run undergraduate twinning programs in collaboration with local private education providers, the final period, often 1-2 years being completed at the home university. More recently, the act has been changed to allow for foreign universities to establish private campuses in Malaysia. Twinning providers are also being encouraged to run complete degree programs in Malaysia. These changes have been prompted by the need to stem the outflow of student fees from Malaysia. In Singapore the Government only allows twinning programs with a very small number of professional associations and nominated providers. Distance Education courses are allowed through private providers, but strict limits are set on class contact.

14 In Indonesia and China, foreign universities are not allowed to operate degree level programs without extensive approval processes.that have effectively prevented any sizeable foreign university presence. Foreign institutions also need to be aware that the tax regime in a host country will almost certainly mean that the home institution will have a tax liability in the host country, even with the existence of taxation agreements. In many cases this will relate to the presence of the home institution in the host country and what components of the program are operated from a local presence or from the home country. Whatever the local rules, the home university is a guest in a foreign country. Its success will be dependent on meeting not only the rules of the host nation but in acting to further the interests of its host. There will be costs and benefits that accrue to host countries in any transnational arrangements. The costs include the potential colonialisation of its higher education system by largely western institutions, the attraction of its best students away from its own institutions and the introduction of culturally or politically unacceptable material and practices. Benefits will include; the expansion of the higher education sector without infrastructure costs, a widening of the educational experiences of citizens, exposure to new ideas, stemming the flow of funds offshore when students go abroad to study and the linking of its institutions with foreign partners. Bibliography Adams T, Cruse N 1997, Quality Assurance in Internationalisation at RMIT University, GATE Conference, Washington. The Australian, March 1998, The Australian Higher Education Supplement, Canberra. AVCC 1995 Code of Ethical Practices in the Offshore Provision of Education and Educational Services by Australian Higher Education Institutions, Australian Vice-Chancellor s Committee, Canberra AVCC 1997 Offshore Database, Australian Vice-Chancellor s Committee, Canberra Baker, M., Creedy J., and Johnson D. 1996, Financing and Effects of Internationalisation in Higher Education; An Australian case Study, Australian Government Printing Service, Canberra. CQAIE 1994, A Guide to Accreditation and Higher Education, The Center for Quality Assurance in International Education, Washington Cunningham S., Tapsall S., Ryan Y., Stedman L., Bagdon K. And Flew T, 1998, New Media and Borderless Education: A Review of the Convergence between Global Media Networks and Higher Education Provision, DEETYA, Canberra. DEETYA, 1996, Overseas Student Statistics 1996, Department of Employment, Education and Youth Affairs, Canberra, GATE 1997, Certification Manual, Global Alliance for Transnational Education Washington. HEQC 1996a, Quality Assurance of Overseas Partnerships, Higher Education Quality Council, London

15 HENCE 1996b, Code of Practice for Overseas Collaborative Provision in Higher Education, Higher Education Quality Council, London Informatics, 1998, Informatics 1...Using the World Wide Web in Education and Training, Informatics Holdings, Republic of Singapore Keegan D., 1986 Foundations of Distance Education, Routledge, London, referenced by Cunningham et. al Knight J., and de Wit H. (eds) 1997, Internationalisation of Higher Education in Asia Pacific Countries, European Association of International Education, Amsterdam. McKay, L., 1998, Operating Offshore Programs, Association of International Educational Administrators, Monteray, California NCB., 1998, Building the Future of Your Business Now, National Computer Board (NCB), Republic of Singapore. Pidgeon O. 1995, Delivery of Offshore Education, Distance Education and Short Courses, IDP Education Australia, Canberra

16 i Professor Tony Adams has recently joined Macquarie University in Sydney where he is the International Director, with a wide ranging responsibility for internationalisation of the university. Prior to that he was Dean of International Programs at RMIT University in Melbourne for seven years from , where amongst other responsibilities he oversaw the development of RMIT s offshore programs and associated institutional approval processes. He has professional interests in quality accreditation of international education and was responsible for the development of a conceptual framework for seeking ISO certification within an IQRP framework at RMIT. Prior to taking up the position of Dean International Programs at RMIT he acted as Dean of Business for 12 months (1990/1) and was Foundation Head of the Department of Business Information Systems ( ). He was a member of the RMIT Foundation Professoriate and received in 1997 the IDP Education Australia International Educator Inaugural award for his contribution to international education..

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