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Transnational Education for Institutional Growth and Education Accessibility

Transnational education or TNE in the higher education sector is seen as an opportunity to create additional revenue for an academic institution.

Aside from economic growth, transnational education gives higher education institutions more linkages and opportunities to improve their administrative processes and curriculum to address the needs of a more globalized world.

Furthermore, transnational education makes quality education accessible to all. With the advancement of the internet and mobility options, transnational education delivery is easier than ever.

What is transnational education and how is it delivered?

Based on The Benefits & Drawbacks of Transnational Higher Education by Wilkins and Juusola, transnational education refers to education that is administered or governed and awarded by an education body that is not located in the student’s home country .

Transnational education can be in higher school or in higher education. It can refer to both while transnational higher education (TNHE) refers to programs offered in the higher education sector alone. 

Transnational education comes in many forms such as articulation agreements, franchising and joint programs. Wilkins and Juusola also said that transnational education provides higher education institutions with an additional revenue stream that requires little risk or effort.  According to them, there are 4 main modes of delivering transnational education:

  1. Franchised or partnership programs
  2. Joint or double degree programs
  3. Study abroad
  4. International branch campuses

 

Eton College Canada, for instance, is a higher education institution that offers transnational higher education through the 4 main modes mentioned above. The college is in Vancouver, Canada and offers programs in business administration, hospitality, flight attendant preparation, and tourism. It offers programs that are in line with the workforce needs of the region, and is appealing to both local and international students alike, particularly those who want to work in Canada or immigrate here.

Education Insight and British Council reported that aside from revenue, higher education institutions develop transnational higher education strategies to complement their government’s efforts to fill in labor needs in certain regions to help the local economy. 

Eton College Canada delivers its brand of education through branch campuses in strategic global locations such as India and the Philippines which are known sending countries for international students.

Students enrolled in branch campuses located in India and the Philippines can pursue higher education in the main campus in Vancouver.

A higher education institution can also deliver transnational education directly to international students without the aid of a partner higher education institutions or branch campuses. Transnational education can be taught through distance learning or online means. 

Massive open online courses or MOOCs is also a mode of delivery for transnational education (Wilkins & Juusola, 2018).

Higher educational institutions can choose to deliver their education online through their official website or through learning platforms such as Coursera and edX (United States); FutureLearn (United Kingdom); SWAYAM and NPTEL (India).

The online education in local and transnational education became more relevant during the pandemic after mobility was limited because of health protocols. 

The online delivery of classes is seen to persist more so in the post-pandemic world.

online classes

Transnational education and student recruitment

International students and transnational students are considered as different market segments, yet they are complimentary.

Depending on the program that a transnational education student is enrolled in, a transnational student studying in a branch campus in their home country may opt to enroll in the main campus abroad making them an international student.

Aside from ramping up marketing strategies, international student recruitment can be enhanced in a higher education institution by delivering transnational education options because international students will be more comfortable in studying in a higher education institution that they “know”.

transnational education recruitment

Challenges and opportunities in transnational education

Transnational education has been in the education market for over 2 decades and has no signs of stopping.

Despite the more than 20-decade endurance, there is no official regulatory body for it. Thus, there are doubts on its quality specifically for transnational education programs that are delivered purely online.

The United Kingdom, one of the countries that pioneered in transnational education had developed a benchmark to ensure the quality and somehow standardize the delivery of transnational education.

benchmark was created last year to provide more credibility and to ensure the quality of transnational education. The benchmark was developed by UK-based Ecctis, a private education consultancy firm and the UK National Information Centre (UK ENIC).

The “TNE Quality Benchmarking (TNE QB)” scheme is defined as:

“Peer-review process through which Ecctis provides external and independent reassurance that an awarding institution has the capacity to deliver TNE qualifications that:

 

  • are of comparable standards to those of similar provision it offers in its home country (or across its delivery model for online learning);
  • provide a learning experience that ensures the achievement of the expected learning outcomes;
  • take into account the education, training and skills needs of the location of delivery.”

 

There may not be an international governing body, but establishing a benchmark is a good start to know best practices and standardize transnational education.

Benefits of transnational education

With available resources, we can say that the benefits of transnational education are the following:

  • It is a viable solution to address a higher education institution’s financial needs.
    • Revenue can be generated from giving licensing agreements to foreign partner higher education institutions.
    • Income can be gained from transnational students turned international student enrollees that want to further their education in the main campus.
  • It is a platform for higher education institutions to expand their network and adjust their curriculum and programs based on different student needs from different locations.
  • It is an avenue to increase diversity and cultural exchange among students, faculty and staff.
  • It is a method to increase availability of specific market labor needs of a region and in turn help that economy (transnational student turned international student and employee and/ or immigrant scenario)
  • It makes quality education accessible to anyone in the world. 

 

Transnational education is continuously growing and will develop more cognizant to the needs of the post-pandemic world and educational environment.

benefits of transnational education

Bibliography

British Council. (2017). The Transnational Education Landscape In Nigeria’s Higher Education System. British Council. https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/british_council_full_report_14_8_18.pdf

Education Insight & British Council. (n.d.). Local impact of transnational education. https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/bc_tne_report_final_120421.pdf

Wilkins, S., & Juusola, K. (2018). The Benefits & Drawbacks of Transnational Higher Education. Australian Universities’ Review, 60(2), 68-76. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1188990.pdf

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