Our international work
The UK is a major player in the field of international higher education and as such 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’s 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.
Monthly update - April 2016
Last month QAA - working in partnership with the British Council, the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre, and the UK Higher Education International Unit - took part in the first ever UK-China Education Policy Week. This culminated in the signing of the
Beijing Statement, a set of shared principles for quality assurance in UK-China transnational education programmes.
This statement of principles will inform both countries' collaboration in transnational education programmes and help UK institutions better understand and work successfully with Chinese authorities and higher education partners.
This autumn QAA will be contributing to a British Council country briefing looking at transnational education in China, where we expect to be joined by representatives from the CEAIE. This will be of interest to UK higher education institutions already operating in China or looking to do so in the future. We will provide further details regarding this event in the coming months.
Examples of our international work
Review of Overseas Provision
Many UK institutions offer their 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. For more information see the
Review of Overseas Provision page.
International students studying in the UK
Working with an advisory group made up of sector representatives, we developed a guidance document,
International students studying in the UK, 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 want 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 see the
Educational oversight reviews section of the website.
The Quality Assurance of Cross-border Higher Education (QACHE) project
QAA is a partner in the
Quality Assurance of Cross-border Higher Education (QACHE) project (opens in new window). The project is looking into the different ways in which European quality assurance agencies and higher education institutions address the quality assurance of the programmes delivered outside of their countries. This project has been funded with support of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union, and is coordinated by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).
For further information about our international activity, please