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Consultation launched on TNE quality probe

A new consultation has been launched to investigate the quality of UK higher education being delivered at partner institutions and on branch campuses overseas.

The exercise is being led by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the UK Higher Education International Unit, and forms part of the Government's strategy for expanding the UK’s education exports sector.

Transnational education (TNE) represents a key part of the UK’s education exports, with over three quarters of UK universities now offering education in over 200 countries, according to the QAA.

The Government, the QAA and the International Unit believe that improving quality checks will help reduce the risk of failures that could damage the reputation  of UK higher education.

Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive of QAA, said: 'Higher education contributes massively to the UK economy, as a vital export with an excellent reputation. External quality assurance is an important part of maintaining that reputation. We have long been reviewing exported education, looking at how the links between awarding bodies and their partners are managed both in the UK and overseas. As the provision becomes more extensive and the links become increasingly complex we need to make sure that quality assurance is sufficiently comprehensive and robust to sustain reputation and success.'

Joanna Newman, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit, said: “TNE is an increasingly attractive proposition for UK higher education to deliver overseas, yet carries with it risks.

“We very much welcome the sector's views on enhancing quality assurance so that it is both rigorous and appropriate.”

The organisations are seeking answers from institutions, students, and individuals over the 12-week survey, which closes on 10 March, 2014.

To submit a response, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tne_consultation