Challenges of Quality Assurance in Cross-border Education

Deficiencies in assessing and enforcing quality was a recurring theme at the University of Wales, according to BBC investigation which began last year. More recently BBC also discovered a scam “in which overseas students are helped to cheat their way to University of Wales-validated degrees and visas is being investigated by the UK Border Agency.”  (see the video in the link). In other words, University’s model of validating cross-border degrees has turned out to be more business, less quality.

TASMAC London which used to offer University of Wales’ validated degrees has shut it’s shop leaving 500 students stranded. Now even the future of the University of Wales is being questioned.

Here is another incisive video from last year’s investigation

University of Wales example also supports my earlier assertion related to agent debate–any process of “validating” student recruitment agents will be futile. When quality assurance agencies and governments have not been able to vet colleges in their own home turf, imagine the impossible task of validating agents based across the world with pure profit motives and incentive-systems which encourage shoddy practices, biased advice and document frauds.

Earlier, I had also posted about the challenges of quality assurance in cross-border education, especially when profit motive is explicit. The issue here is not with the profit motive as much as the ability to manage risks which comes with it.

Quality assurance systems need to step-up to this changing environment of financial exigencies, entrepreneurial opportunities and technological innovations, to enable growth of cross-border education, while managing the risks it poses to students, education systems and nations. The solution to quality assurance problem is not to “systematize problems” rather offer solutions which encourage highest standards of transparency, enforcement and deterrence.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

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