Overseas partnerships – a case study in quality

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
0 90 8557 55 8

Partnered delivery of education offers many universities a way to achieve growth in student numbers, and in choice and pace and place of study that is affordable to students, and remains sustainable in terms of the demands on providers. Such initiatives usually involve partners in different countries, often thousands of miles apart, but marketing materials offer prospective students, wherever they are, an equivalent education regardless of location. They are offered similar learning outcomes and the testamur often carries no indication as to the location of the student during the study period. However, sometimes the way the degree is taught by the awarding university is not the same when the programme is delivered through an overseas partner and this can affect the quality of teaching and learning. The degree, which was the subject of this case study, was offered by a prestigious UK University through an Asian partner institution offshore. In this study what was done when the degree was delivered offshore diverged significantly from how the programme was delivered in the UK. The results of the study indicated that divergence was made possible by the absence of an open and evidence based system of accountability and quality assurance with consistent application of performance measures in both locations.

Keywords: overseas partnerships; quality; distance education

Overseas partnerships – a case study in quality

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Fallshaw, E.