Our international work
The UK is a major player in the field of international higher education. QAA takes a leading role in international developments in standards and quality, working not just to maintain but to enhance and reinforce the quality and integrity of the UK higher education sector in the international sphere.
We recognise the increasing importance our subscribers place on the contribution internationalisation makes to their reputations - for sustainability and benchmarking - and ensure our activities, standards and processes address this.
QAA's international engagement
QAA and the UK higher education sector continue to benefit from engagement with European and wider international quality assurance developments. We take a proactive role in international developments in standards and quality, driven by our international strategy, which has three main goals:
- to secure academic standards in internationally delivered UK higher education or transnational education (TNE)
- to be an authority on international quality assurance and enhancement matters, increasing recognition of QAA as a provider of authoritative advice by sharing expertise, intelligence and information
- to maximise the influence of QAA in international quality assurance developments.
QAA has close relationships with international quality assurance agencies, and has developed links with several agencies around the world through
Memoranda of Understanding and Cooperation.
Examples of our international work
Review of Transnational Education
Many UK institutions offer higher education programmes abroad through TNE arrangements, including partnership links with other organisations. Institutions are responsible for the academic standards of their awards, whether delivered inside or outside the UK. As part of our work, we review the partnership arrangements between UK higher education institutions and organisations in other countries. We also produce country reports to offer providers an insight into the higher education and regulatory landscape of key countries for UK TNE. For more information, please see the
Review of Transnational Education section of our website.
International students studying in the UK
Working with an advisory group made up of sector representatives, we developed a
guidance document for higher education providers on managing the international student experience. The guidance seeks to establish a UK-wide set of shared principles for developing an inclusive environment for increasingly international student bodies.
Educational oversight reviews
QAA is one of the bodies that provides educational oversight for colleges and other providers that wish to sponsor international students. This includes the Recognition Scheme for Educational Oversight (RSEO) for overseas higher education providers operating in the UK. For more information, please see the
educational oversight reviews section of our website.
International Insights articles
Supporting higher education in the ASEAN region - SHARE project
Working alongside our partners in ENQA, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the British Council, QAA is contributing to the SHARE project, which aims to strengthen regional cooperation, and enhance the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalisation of
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) higher education institutions and students (opens in new window).
This is a capacity-building project that includes training for ASEAN quality agencies, driven by a desire to enhance cooperation between the EU and the ASEAN Economic Community, and create lasting benefit from the harmonisation of higher education across the ASEAN region.
By taking part in this project, QAA supports UK higher education providers seeking to build relationships, partnerships and operations in the ASEAN region. To learn more about the SHARE project, please visit the
ENQA website (opens in new window).
For further information about our international activity, please