INQAAHE Conference 2023
Roadmap to Enabling Quality in Tertiary Education 2030

May 30, 2023


Sub-theme 3 Quality Assurance of Cross-Border Education

Multi-Speaker session


Internationalisation of quality assurance vs. quality assurance of internationalisation: a typology of quality assurance activity in an internationalised context

When it comes to discuss quality assurance in the context of international higher education there is an important distinction to draw between the ‘internationalisation of quality assurance activities’ and the ‘quality assurance of internationalisation activities’. Albeit the two spheres of activities can and do overlap, they represent different sets of activities associated with specific features, challenges and opportunities. This paper outlines the defining characteristics of each type of activity, providing some examples, and suggesting a typology of quality assurance in an internationalised context which can help refining thinking and practice in this field, with a view to untapping the progressive potential associated with the internationalisation higher education. 

Facilitated by:

Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro'

Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro’ is an international expert in quality assurance and international education. He heads quality benchmark services and strategic engagement with key international stakeholders at Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC), the agency managing the qualification recognition function on behalf of the UK government. In this role Fabrizio developed the TNE Quality Benchmark, the only international scheme aimed at improving international understanding and trust of TNE provision regardless of countries of origin. Fabrizio is a member of the Board of Directors of INQAAHE, and of the Accreditation Committee of the British Accreditation Council. Prior to joining Ecctis, Fabrizio was with the UK Quality Assurance Agency for over 10 years, where he led on the quality assurance of UK TNE, the international students experience, and cross-border cooperation with international QA bodies and networks. He recently supported the Office for Students in England in developing their international engagement strategy with a focus on TNE.

Quality Online Course Sharing for Cross-Border Online Education

The need for collaboration in online education has never been greater across higher education. Institutions have come together across the USA and beyond to form course sharing consortia to meet students’ just-in-time needs to continue their academic progress and successfully complete their study to graduate. How do we ensure quality learning experiences in the much-needed and rapidly growing practice of online course sharing? Can these efforts be scaled globally, creating both challenges and opportunities around access, affordability, and quality? 

The presenters will:

  1. Share a timely and impactful initiative, between a global leading QA organization and a US-based course sharing company, to develop quality standards and guidelines for online course sharing;
  2. Invite participants for feedback on the initial draft standards and guidelines, and
  3. Encourage institutions in the global community to adapt and apply the standards and guidelines for continuous improvement for digital learning even if course sharing is not currently needed or applicable.

Facilitated by:

Dr. Yaping Gao

With a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction and a concentration on instructional design and educational technology, Dr. Yaping Gao has over 25 years’ experience in higher education both in China and in USA as faculty, instructional designer, LMS manager, and online education administrator. Dr. Gao believes quality course and program design supported by research facilitates effective instruction, promotes student engagement and active learning, and lays the foundation to ensure quality teaching and learning in the digital learning environment for student success and institutional advancement and accreditation. As Vice President at Quality Matters, USA, Dr. Gao oversees member services to support 1600+ member institutions in 30+ countries and lead partnerships with a focus on global outreach and initiatives. Dr. Gao earned her doctoral degree from Baylor University, Texas, USA, and her Master and Bachelor degrees from Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China.

Enhancing cross-border education through collaboration and flexibility: a study from the QAA's QE-TNE scheme

2021 saw the QAA launch of a new methodology for the evaluation of transnational education - the QE-TNE scheme. The core purpose of the scheme is to strengthen the reputation of UK TNE, providing valued information and insight, building mutual trust, and delivering benefit for TNE stakeholders. The session will cover four key elements: 

  1. The scheme and its methodology 
  1. Cross-border cooperation and mutual benefit for all stakeholders 
  1. Flexibility and responding to changes in the local context 
  1. Thematic insights from the first year of the QE-TNE scheme  

This presentation will outline the four elements above and consider how the scheme has adapted its approach to include consideration of external factors impacting on the delivery of UK TNE  in the development of country based and global thematic insights.

Facilitated by:

Mr. Piers Wall

As Head of International Membership Services and TNE at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education UK, Piers Wall is responsible for the management and delivery of the International membership offer for members and its work in Transnational education.

His role involves working with UK and International Higher Education providers, national quality assurance agencies and other key stakeholders supporting the development and enhancement of international education.

He is currently leading on the delivery of the Quality Evaluation and Enhancement of UK Transnational Higher Education scheme (QE-TNE) liaising with UK and International institutions, stakeholders at agency and government level as well as overseeing the country focused, institutional, and thematic outputs.

Prior to joining the QAA Piers had nearly 30 years' experience of working in higher education across both the public and private sectors. Working primarily in international education, he has been a teacher, lecturer, trainer and senior manager with responsibility for quality assurance, external accreditation, teaching and learning and the student experience.


INQAAHE Conference 2023 is sponsored by the Education & Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC), a gold sponsor.