Best practice in transnational education

Published: 15 April 2024

Dr Ahmad Taha was invited to give an illuminating talk on best practice in TNE by Brunel University, incorporating his experiences in the sector

Dr Ahmad Taha was pleased to be invited to speak at a recent seminar on "Best Practices and Continuous Improvement in Teaching International Students and Transnational Education", hosted by the Academic Education Network at Brunel University London.

During the event, he shared insights into some of the typical teaching methods and pedagogical approaches that are crucial to transnational education (TNE) programmes, based on his experience as a Lecturer with the Glasgow College UESTC teaching team, for which he delivers courses at both our Chengdu and Hainan campuses. 

He currently teaches students on Glasgow College UESTC's 'Embedded Processors' and 'Introductory Programming' courses, and helps coordinate the activities of its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), alongside active research as a member of the James Watt School of Engineering's 'Autonomous Systems and Connectivity' research division.

Benefits of TNE infographic from presentation by Dr Ahmad Taha

Dr Taha's talk considered definitions of internationalistion in HE, the motivations underlying it, and the practicalities of teaching, assessment, and engaging with students across geographically defined cultures. Talking of the contribution of TNE and internationalisation to economic growth, he reflected on the opportunities and challenges of "international programme provider mobility". There are different models for the delivery of TNE - for example, it can be 'face to face' in country, entirely online (remote), or a 'blend' of the two. Consequentially, there are different methods for measuring and seeking to ensure quality of provision.

The conventions and styles of all partners must be considered, as well as the needs and priorities of students who are seeking globally competitive qualifications. One size does not fit all. There are many beneficiaries and 'stakeholders' in the TNE marketplace. Curricula must accordingly be flexible, balancing localisation with standardisation.

Teachers in HE always need to communicate effectively with students and ideally engage them in 'active learning' to equip them for the 'real world'. This is emphasised by TNE models because of the many 'differences' it seeks to harmonise. Dr Taha underscored that whatever the approach, innovation is crucial - and that need not only mean 'digital technology' or IT. It should also mean innovation in pedagogy, communication strategy, and asssessment.

As part of the Seminar, Dr. Zhengguo Sheng gave an informative presentation on the Zhejiang Gongshang-Sussex (ZJSU) AI Joint Institute, where he is an Associate Dean of Artificial Intelligence.

Dr Taha gave thanks to Dr. Chun Sing Lai, and all the organisers, for the invitation and for coordinating this invaluable seminar on a topic which is set to grow in importance in universities and higher education institutions worldwide.

Readers can download his presentation using the link below.

First published: 15 April 2024