Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro, Head of Quality Benchmark Services, Ecctis, United Kingdom
Over the past 20 years the international education community has seen significant growth in transnational education (TNE), i.e. education delivered in other countries to that in which the awarding institution is based. We can expect TNE to continue to grow in quantity, diversity and strategic importance post-COVID, as key stakeholders are appreciating the role it can play in meeting the education and training needs of students unable or unwilling to travel internationally.
However, despite its increasing strategic importance worldwide, there are still important challenges to the recognition of TNE as an acceptable mode of earning a qualification, which prevent TNE from fully realising its progressive potential as a flexible, inclusive and sustainable form of internationalisation. These challenges relate to a lack of trust towards qualifications obtained through TNE operations whose nature and quality might be difficult to understand and assess for international regulators and credential evaluators, especially in the absence of a shared international framework for the quality assurance of TNE qualifications.
Not all countries regulate or quality assure outbound or inbound TNE, and those that do, do it in different ways, usually stopping short of providing regular quality assurance of individual TNE operations. As a result TNE qualifications might not always or easily be recognised internationally, hindering TNE students mobility and the growth of quality TNE.
This presentation outlines some of the key recognition challenges for TNE, and introduces a new and innovative international initiative aimed at offering a global solution that might be capable of bridging the different existing national approaches for the quality assurance and recognition of TNE qualifications. This is the TNE Quality Benchmark scheme developed by Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC), with a view to helping improve the recognition climate for international TNE qualifications of demonstrated quality and standards.
Head of Quality Benchmark Services, Ecctis, United Kingdom
Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro’ is an international expert in the quality assurance and recognition of TNE. He heads Ecctis’ (formerly UK NARIC) quality benchmark services and leads the agency’s strategic engagement with key international stakeholders. At Ecctis he developed the TNE Quality Benchmark, the first international scheme aimed at supporting the global portability of TNE qualifications of demonstrated quality and standards.
Prior to joining NARIC, Fabrizio was with the Quality Assurance Agency for over 10 years where he led on the quality assurance of UK TNE and international engagement.