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Managing quality and student experience in transnational education partnerships: a reflective and prospective model Vangelis Tsiligiris College Principal.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing quality and student experience in transnational education partnerships: a reflective and prospective model Vangelis Tsiligiris College Principal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing quality and student experience in transnational education partnerships: a reflective and prospective model Vangelis Tsiligiris College Principal MBS College of Crete, Greece twitter @tsiligiris

2 The quality conundrum Students Changing expectations Told to “shop around” for best value for their money Influence from high unemployment to higher demands for employability Universities Increased competition Emergence of non-traditional players Corporatisation Rankings and indicators as means to differentiate Quality concept Flux of definitions and models for quality management Failure to take a realistic stance in the debate “student as customer” and quality as “top-down” Quality Management Policy Primarily focusing on risk-mitigation Students framed as customers Overconcentration on student satisfaction Reactive rather than proactive Current quality discourse in higher education

3 What is wrong with quality management in higher education ? Service quality is seen as important but not linked to educational quality Two extreme poles in this: – Student satisfaction is critical in a “value for money” world – Students should inevitably suffer in the journey to knowledge so student satisfaction is irrelevant Retrospective approach (Biggs, 2001) in managing final outcomes – Over-reliance on student satisfaction surveys – The relationships between dimensions assumed as static – Ignore student characteristics we seek to react on issues that concern a previous cohort and reinforce solutions/actions on a different cohort that may have different problems

4 Service and educational quality are closely linked Student factors i.e. prior knowledge, abilities, motivation Teaching context Objectives, assessment, climate, ethos, teaching approaches Learning -focused activities i.e. deep vs. surface learning Learning Outcomes Quantitative & Qualitative Student expectations Student Perceptions about “student experience” Service quality “The Student Experience”

5 Transnational Education Of growing importance for exporting countries Legitimised as “an alternative to international student mobility” (?) Conflicting views of the role of TNE that impact quality management – Risk, risk, risk – The same or equal ? – An element or internationalisation or globalisation

6 Current approach in TNE quality management Dominance of quality assurance policies of exporting countries TNE is seen as a high-risk activity by exporting countries Quality assurance as risk mitigation Quality management X approach Focus on equivalency (sameness) rather than enhancement

7 Ramifications of the current approach in TNE quality management Student factors i.e. prior knowledge, abilities, motivation Teaching context Objectives, assessment, climate, ethos, teaching approaches Learning -focused activities i.e. deep vs. surface learning Learning Outcomes Quantitative & Qualitative Student expectations Student Perceptions about “student experience” Service quality Student factors and expectations are ignored or assumed to be the same across different locations of delivery Student perceptions about quality in higher education, both as term and as set of desired outcomes, are ignored or assumed to be the same across different locations of delivery

8 The problematic nature of current approach in TNE quality management Considering the important role of student factors, expectations, and perceptions for both educational and service quality outcomes, can we afford to assume them as static or irrelevant? The replication of a retrospective “home” quality management approach is really minimizing risk in TNE ?

9 Student factors in TNE Student expectations and perceptions vary considerably across different countries Factors that affect student expectations and perceptions: – Previous educational experience – Culture – Parents, family and other social networks – The state of the domestic higher education system – Contribution in the payment of fees – Size of education institution they attend

10 Student factors in TNE “Student as customer” identity penetrates national borders and appears to affect student expectations and perceptions across different countries However, students appear to be “immature customers” – Highly instrumental in their expectations and perception of the educational process – Focus on the “end product” and less on the “journey”.

11 Current Student Experience in TNE Almost 90% of [TNE] students interviewed by the British Council indicated that student experience is the area where improvement should be considered. “The TNE student is a new type of student and the home institution need to not only understand their expectation in the context of the student body but also to capitalised on them to create a new diverse learning community. Home institutions need go beyond the replica model.” (Shepherd, 2013)

12 Challenges for quality management in TNE How to deal with different student expectations and perceptions? How to respond to the universal trend of the emerging identity of “student as customer”, by achieving an optimal balance between educational and service quality maximization? How to move beyond the replica model but maintain control over risk?

13 A shift of focus from the end to the beginning of the educational process Plan actions to manage student expectations, and perceptions so that are re-aligned to those required to achieve the desired educational and service quality standards Explore and understand student expectations, and perceptions Explore contextual factors that affect and shape student expectations, and perceptions Prospective / Reflective approach Understand the context Understand the student Plan and implement proactive management actions A prospective and reflective model

14 An example Student factors i.e. prior knowledge, abilities, motivation Teaching context Objectives, assessment, climate, ethos, teaching approaches Learning -focused activities i.e. deep vs. surface learning Learning Outcomes Quantitative & Qualitative Student expectations Student Perceptions about “student experience” Service quality During the planning/ pre-launch and delivery Identify student factors Explore contextual factors Explore the education system in the importing country Contextualise delivery/learning context 1.Programme content 2.Tweak assessment 3.Explore language issues Plan actions to re-adjust student expectations/perceptions 1.Pre-induction 2.On-going induction 3.A re-adjustment semester /year Prospective quality management Achieve educational and service quality outcomes

15 References Biggs, J. (2001). The reflective institution: Assuring and enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. Higher Education. 41 (3). p.pp. 221–238. Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university. Open University press. Bodycott, P. & Lai, A. (2012). The Influence and Implications of Chinese Culture in the Decision to Undertake Cross-Border Higher Education. Journal of Studies in International Education. 16 (3). p.pp. 252–270. Chapman, A., Pyvis, D., Chapman, A. & Pyvis, D. (2013). Enhancing quality in transnational higher education: experiences of teaching and learning in Australian offshore programs. Hoare, L. (2012). Transnational Student Voices Reflections on a Second Chance. Journal of Studies in International Education. 16 (3). p.pp. 271–286. Shepherd, E. (2013). Transnational Education: The student experience. In: Going Global 2013. 6 March 2013, Dubai: British Council, Education Intelligence. Smith, K. (2010). Assuring quality in transnational higher education: a matter of collaboration or control? Studies in Higher Education. 35 (7). p.pp. 793–806. Waters, J. & Leung, M. (2013). A Colourful University Life? Transnational Higher Education and the Spatial Dimensions of Institutional Social Capital in Hong Kong. Population, Space and Place. 19 (2). p.pp. 155– 167.


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