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QAA to review UK higher education in Malaysia

Date: March 4 - 2019

QAA has launched its review of UK higher education delivered in Malaysia, the second largest market in the world for UK universities operating overseas.

Transnational education (TNE) - higher education delivered overseas - is an integral and expanding part of UK higher education provision. Over 80% of all UK degree-awarding bodies are engaged in some form in TNE, through distance learning, partnerships, or branch campus arrangements.

According to the latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 72,485 students in Malaysia were working toward a UK higher education qualification in 2017-18, representing 10.4% of all UK HE TNE students worldwide.

QAA has written to all UK degree-awarding bodies to gain an accurate picture of current TNE arrangements in Malaysia. About 10 sites in Malaysia will be selected for a visit by a QAA review team.

This review completes the series of three in-country TNE reviews announced in 2016, following the reviews of UK TNE in Ireland (2017) and Hong Kong (2018). QAA is working with Universities UK and GuildHE to develop proposals for continued quality assurance of UK TNE from 2020 onwards.

QAA's Fabrizio Trifirò will oversee the review of UK TNE in Malaysia. He said: 'Universities in the UK have long had a global outlook. For many British universities, TNE provision is an increasingly significant aspect of their international strategies.

'UK degrees remain a popular choice for Malaysian students. All students on a UK programme – whether they're based in the UK or overseas – are entitled to expect that their education is up to the mark. Our review of UK TNE in Malaysia will offer an important check of how these programmes are managed, protecting both the students who've registered and invested in their education, and the hard-won reputation of the UK's higher education sector'.

Celia Partridge, Assistant Director, Partnerships and Mobility at Universities UK International said: 'Malaysia and the UK have a long history of successful collaboration in higher education. This review will help UK universities develop and enhance their world leading TNE provision in Malaysia and continue to serve the needs of their students and the communities where they work'.

The review will be carried out in close collaboration with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). Dr Rahmah Mohamed, MQA's Chief Executive Officer, said: 'This collaboration reinforces the interconnectivity between the two agencies' systems in assuring the quality of higher education'.