Putrajaya, Malaysia November 16, 2007
Issues of Quality Assurance inOff-Shore Degree Programs in Asia Stephen C. Dunnett Professor & Vice Provost for International Education University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Brief review of American and Asian Student Mobility trends from the post-war years to the present.
1960’S 1945 -1970’s 1980’S
With respect to student mobility, a new trend arose in the late 1990’s and has accelerated in recent years, that is the shift of Asian students from study in the United States toward study in other Asian countries, as well as Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Now, international students from Asian countries can be found studying in China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
International Student Enrollments in China Total International Students Studying in China: 141,087 (2005) Source - IIE: Atlas of Student Mobility (2005)
International Student Enrollments in Japan Total International Students Studying in Japan: 117,927 (2006) Source - IIE: Atlas of Student Mobility (2006)
International Student Enrollments in Malaysia Total International Students Studying in Malaysia: 30,407 (2003) Source - IIE: Atlas of Student Mobility (2003)
International Student Enrollments in Asia • China: 141,087 (2005)* • Japan: 117,927 (2006)* • South Korea: 22,624 (2006)* • Malaysia: nearly 40,000 (2006)* • Singapore: approximately 72,000 (2005)** (mostly from Southeast Asia, China and India) *IIE: Atlas of Student Mobility **Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)
Branch Campuses of Asian Institutions in Other Asian Countries • Malaysian campuses in China, Thailand and Indonesia • Singaporean campuses in China, India and Indonesia • Japanese campuses in Singapore and China
Quality Assurance in Establishment of Academic Programs Overseas • ethical recruitment practices • appropriate admission requirements • protect students from foreign degree mills • protect students from poor quality distance learning programs
Quality Assurance in Establishment of Academic Programs Overseas Ensure: • curricula of foreign academic programs are relevant for host country needs • entrance requirements for foreign academic programs are appropriate • foreign and locally hired faculty are suitably qualified • facilities and student support services are adequate
Quality Assurance in Establishment of Academic Programs Overseas • protect students from exorbitant tuition and fees • protect students from “fly by night” programs • ensure transfer credits • ensure recognition of foreign degrees
Accreditation in the United States:Context • no national higher education authority, no ministry of education • some quality assurance provided by state governments • Result: high variability in quality in U.S. higher education
Accreditation in the United States:Context • tradition of non-governmental peer evaluation of institutions and programs • regional accrediting agencies such as Middle States Association • professional accrediting bodies, e.g. AACSB, ABET, etc.
Quality of International Student Services • NAFSA and AIEA: standards and best practices for services to international students
Accreditation of Overseas Programs by U.S. Agencies • AACSB accredits programs in other countries • ABET does not accredit foreign programs but recognizes “substantially equivalent” programs overseas, comparable in educational outcomes
Accreditation of Overseas Programs by U.S. Agencies • In Asia, accreditation is not well established or non-existent • quality assurance responsibility of ministries of education • Asia-Pacific Associations for International Education (APAIE) • in Asia, little or no oversight of programs for international students
University at Buffalo Academic Programs in Asia • first U.S. MBA program in China (1984-1989) • first branch campus in Malaysia (1986-1991): twinning program with Mara Institute of Technology • EMBA at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) (1996)
University at Buffalo Academic Programs in Asia • EMBA at Renmin University of China (1998) • EMBA at Motorola University, Beijing (1999) • Economics and Business Administration (EBA) Program at Konan University (2001) • Undergraduate programs at SIM (2004)
Benefits of Overseas Academic Programs • raise profile and prestige of university • contribute to increased high-quality international student enrollments • create opportunities for research in the host country • contribute to the overall internationalization of the campus
Benefits of Overseas Academic Programs • enhance the development of international alumni relations • foster and support bilateral academic exchanges relationships • financial incentives
Common Difficulties in Overseas Programs • cross-cultural communication problems with local partners • inadequacy of funding • communication between home and branch campuses • cultural adjustment of expatriate faculty and staff
Common Difficulties in Overseas Programs • difficulties with recruitment of qualified faculty • recruitment of suitably qualified students • ensuring academic quality of program and performance of students • replicating U.S. learning environment
UB Policies on Overseas Academic Programs To be approved, proposed program must meet the following conditions: • be consistent with institutional priorities • prior approval and registration of degree program by appropriate authority • meet applicable accreditation requirements • adhere to university’s standards for admission and English language proficiency • partner institution must be duly recognized by appropriate authorities
UB Policies on Overseas Academic Programs To be approved, proposed program must meet the following conditions: • faculty must be suitably qualified • full direct and indirect costs must be recovered • budget must include provision for academic reinvestment fund (10 percent of total direct costs) • all instructional facilities including library and IT must meet UB standards • students services must meet UB standards
UB Quality Assurance Provisions • Admission requirements and process exclusive responsibility of UB • Selection of faculty solely at discretion of appropriate UB department • Oversight committee responsible for academic quality and smooth administration of program • frequent visits to overseas programs by UB faculty and staff with oversight responsibility • constant monitoring of learning outcomes (student performance) and compliance with accreditation requirements
Recommendations • quality assurance should be the shared responsibility of foreign and local partner • governments should regulate foreign education programs • local institutions enrolling international students should meet world class standards
Recommendations • local institutions should provide satisfactory services and support for international students • governments and institutions of higher education should work together to establish procedures for mutual recognition of qualifications, transfer of credits across borders, and harmonization of their educational systems, along lines of Bologna process in Europe
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