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Curtin University
Transnational Teaching and Learning

Professional Development



This project aims to engage academics in the application of a set of quality assurance principles for teaching and learning in Australian university offshore programmes. The principles were developed as part of a previous ALTC funded research project directed at quality enhancement of transnational higher education. The current project involves the trial and evaluation of the principles in ten Australian university programmes delivered in Southeast Asia via a range of models, such as branch campuses, face to face delivery, and franchised courses. Partnering four universities, this project strategically employs a collaborative and participatory approach to enlist universities in developing effective applications of the principles.


The Australian tertiary sector provides almost 900 programmes to upwards of 93,500 students studying offshore (Australian Education International, 2010). As has been well documented (Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education References Committee, 2001; National Tertiary Education Union, 2004; McBurnie, 2008; Ewan, 2009), the quality of teaching and learning in Australian transnational higher education is uneven. Persisting quality failures risk student investments, the reputation and financial security of Australian universities, the goodwill of host-countries and institutions and education's position as Australia's largest service export industry (Australian Education International, 2011).

In 2006, Australian universities called for the development of principles of quality to inform transnational teaching and learning practice (International Education Association of Australia, 2006). In 2008-9, in ALTC funded research, a cluster of these principles was established. That project (referred to in these materials as Project Stage 1) ensured these principles would be relevant, grounded in practice and pertinent to the sector's quality responsibilities, by examining educator perspectives on delivering quality in offshore programmes and pertinent university, national and international quality frameworks and guidelines.

What is clearly required now is a mechanism to bring these principles into university practice. This is the purpose of the current project (Project Stage 2), to progress design to application, and ultimately to widespread incorporation. This project acknowledges the vital role of academics in quality formation and implementation and takes an inclusive, participatory approach. Its outcomes, for example implementation across universities and across delivery modes, recognise that application needs to be fashioned according to needs and context. The project is forward looking, with method and outcomes designed to promote application of quality principles across the university sector.

Read the full document Applying Quality Principles to Australian University Transnational Teaching and Learning [.pdf - 184Kb]
Professional Development Workshop Materials

This information is available in alternative formats on request from a person with a disability by contacting the Information Management Officer Salome Husselmann on 9266 4796 or e-mail