Equivalent or not?. Beyond measuring teaching and learning standards in a transnational education environment

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-01-2016-0001
Pages528-540
Published date05 September 2016
Date05 September 2016
AuthorChoon Boey Lim,Duncan Bentley,Fiona Henderson,Shin Yin Pan,Vimala Devi Balakrishnan,Dharshini M. Balasingam,Ya Yee Teh
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Equivalent or not?
Beyond measuring teaching and
learning standards in a transnational
education environment
Choon Boey Lim
Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Duncan Bentley
Victoria University International, Victoria University,
Melbourne, Australia
Fiona Henderson
Academic Support and Development, Victoria University,
Melbourne, Australia
Shin Yin Pan
Hospitality and Information Technology, Sunway College Johor Bahru,
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Vimala Devi Balakrishnan
Department of Language, Sunway College Johor Bahru,
Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and
Dharshini M. Balasingam and Ya Yee Teh
Australian University Program, Sunway College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine issues academics at importing institutions face
while delivering Australian degrees in Malaysia. Transnational higher education (TNE) has been
widely researched. However, less widely researched is the area of understanding what academics at the
offshore locations need to uphold the required academic standards of their partnered exporting
universities. This area warrants close attention if Australian and other transnational education
universities are to sustain their growth through a partnership model with offshore academics delivering
a portion (often a substantial portion) of the teaching.
Design/methodology/approach – Two focus groups were conducted with a mix of long standing
and newly recruited Malaysian lecturers who taught into an Australian degree through a partnership
arrangement. The semi-structured questions which were used were derived from a preliminary
literature review and previous internal institutional reports.
Findings – The ndings from the focus groups indicate that TNE is largely “Australian-centric” when
addressing the standard of academic quality and integrity. The ndings pointed not so much to any
sustained internationalisation of curriculum or administration or personnel but more as
internationalisation as deemed required by the local academic.
Originality/value – To a greater extent, the ndings highlighted that equivalent student outcomes do
not necessarily equate to equivalent learning experiences or teaching workload. In fact, the frustration
of the interviewees on the tension to full the home institution curriculum and helping students to
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0968-4883.htm
QAE
24,4
528
Received 5 January 2016
Accepted 8 July 2016
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.24 No. 4, 2016
pp.528-540
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0968-4883
DOI 10.1108/QAE-01-2016-0001

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