VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 11/6/2011
UK business programmes delivered overseas - challenges and best practice. Alice Szwelnik 1. REPORT IN SHORT ARTICLE FORM INTRODUCTION Transnational Tertiary Education (TTE) is expanding, with an increasing number of international students enrolling on UK courses delivered overseas. As the UK education market saturates and international recruitment for business courses is a challenge, the UK Business Schools engage in Transnational Education Partnerships TEPs to expand their markets and deliver courses in Asia, Middle East, and other regions. But these partnerships are sometimes controversial. The critics point to the ‘exploitation’ and ‘revenue generation’ purpose of UK Universities and claim that these provisions are disadvantageous to host countries (Stella, 2004). Another important concern is about the quality of teaching and assessment of the UK programmes overseas and their contested comparability with the home UK programmes (Kagia & Ischinger, 2007). Indeed, the QAA monitoring the quality of TEPs has closed some of these programmes in the past (Tysome, 1998; QAA, 1998, 2000). In that context quality of teaching and assessment in TEPs providing business education becomes a centre of attention. The proposed research investigating effective and innovative ways of teaching and assessment of UK business programmes delivered overseas is important in light of criticism addressed at the UK universities for alleged poor quality courses and profit-earning motivations. AIMS The overall aim of this study was to investigate teaching and assessment practices and other educational aspects of UK business courses delivered overseas. The descriptive aim was to collect, organise and summarise information about different models for educational processes at four UK universities delivering business courses overseas. The exploratory part of this study was to generate practical guidelines for improvements. METHODOLOGY The case study approach has been adopted with documentary analysis and qualitative interviews conducted in the UK (n=11). Using a purposive judgmental sampling method (Cohen & Manion, 1994) four partnerships were selected adopting the criteria of ‘typical cases’ (Schofield, 1989). SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS 1 The cases suggest that the approaches to teaching, assessment and other educational processes are diverse, namely: (a) the outcome-based approach (where the UK university delegates most of the functions to the partner institution and focuses on the outcomes/final assessment), and (b) the process-based approach (where the UK university is involved in all aspects of teaching and assessment at the partner organization). RECOMMENDATIONS: Teaching An option to deliver a UK business course overseas using a flying faculty from the UK works well for ensuring the equivalence of student experience and quality of teaching. However, there are two disadvantages: a) high cost of travel and work overseas; and b) the local faculty is not able to build their academic capacity; therefore the sustainability of the overseas institution is questionable. Assessment Identical assessment at the overseas institution with the assessment in the UK (the same exam questions, the same external examiners) ensures that UK and overseas students are exposed to the same academic standards, what promotes the parity of the award received in the UK and overseas. However, not always the UK assessment will be relevant and appropriate in the local context; as the economic, political and business environment in the UK and overseas is very different. Balanced-approach The outcome-based approach provides a lot of flexibility and freedom to the overseas institution with regard to teaching and assessment arrangement. This flexibility could be beneficial for academic capacity development of overseas partner, but at the same time can create potential problems if the quality of teaching/assessment is not maintained at the level comparable with the UK standards. The process-based approach means regular involvement in the overseas institution what ensure closer monitoring of everyday teaching and educational practice for the benefit of the students. However, it can be an intrusive process discouraging local faculty from proposing new initiative or solutions to local problems, as the UK University imposes all the processes and educational standards (even though not always they might be adequate to the local environment). Therefore, it is recommended to find the right balance between these two approaches to fit both partner institutions. 2. OUTPUTS 2 Discussion paper shall be available in a form of publication in a journal by the end of December 2010 3. DETAILS OF ANY FUTURE PLANNED DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES List any articles, conference presentations, workshops (internal or external) that are planned to disseminate the work. BMAF website Journal publication: Quality in HE Journal and/or Educational Studies Business School Research Conference 2011 INQAAHE Conference 2010 SRHE Annual Conference 2010 3
"UK business programmes delivered overseas"