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QAA launches TNE quality enhancement scheme and names participating countries

Date: May 17 - 2021

QAA has today launched registration for Quality Evaluation and Enhancement of UK Transnational Higher Education (QE-TNE). This is a new, innovative scheme to help UK degree-awarding bodies improve and enhance the quality of their international provision.

The programme is open to all UK higher education bodies engaging in TNE. It will help participants gain a competitive advantage on a global scale though continuous improvement, by gaining insights into overseas markets, and through shared best practice.

QE-TNE was commissioned by Universities UK and GuildHE and has been shaped following close consultation with UK and international higher education stakeholders.

The initial QE-TNE programme operates between 2021-22 and 2025-26. UK degree-awarding bodies must sign up before 31 August 2021 to take advantage of the five-year programme.

In March 2021, QAA announced the first three countries that would be participating in the programme for the 2021-22 academic year: the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Germany. At the QAA Annual Conference last week, it was announced that the participating countries for 2022-23 will be the People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

QAA has worked closely with UK and international agencies and institutions in developing the programme. Countries have been selected based on a range of factors such as the existing strong links they have with UK universities, as well as the size or growth of their higher education systems.

Participants will benefit from access to a suite of published reports, toolkits, thematic analyses, guidance and dissemination workshops drawn together by QAA. As the only quality enhancement scheme for TNE recognised by the UK higher education sector, participants will also be able to make use of the QE-TNE Kitemark for the institution and their TNE partners.

The scheme is independent of QAA Membership, although existing QAA Members can take advantage of further benefits as part of the QE-TNE Scheme.

The QE-TNE Scheme has attracted widescale support from sector stakeholders across the UK and internationally, including from students.

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, said: ‘We welcome the launch of the QE-TNE Scheme, which demonstrates a commitment both to strengthening the quality of UK transnational education, and to safeguarding confidence in the countries which host it.’

Dr David Llewellyn, Chair of GuildHE and Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University, said: 'UK higher education is delivered across the globe and has an international reputation for excellence. The launch of QAA’s new QE-TNE Scheme will allow providers of higher education to develop this reputation as we all seek to safeguard and enhance the quality of UK teaching and learning delivered abroad.'

Demonstrating the high regard that the QE-TNE Scheme will command internationally, Professor Dr Youhansen Eid, President of the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education in Egypt, said: ‘NAQAAE strongly supports the QE-TNE Scheme, acknowledging that it will add to the quality of UK-TNE provided in Egypt. This will help to develop a quality enhanced environment that will be in the best interest of the most important stakeholder, the student, as well as the entire Egyptian higher education system.’

A full overview of what is on offer as part of the QE-TNE Scheme can be found on the QAA website including details of how degree-awarding bodies can register for the scheme.