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DATE CHANGE: Is Africa set to become the 21st century Asia for international education? In a data driven and interactive day conference, we have an event that explores the traditional student recruitment models but also provides an insight into student mobility, partnerships & TNE in the continent. 30/3/17 in Manchester, details here
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Matthew Hornshaw, Managing Director of MGH Educonsult, introduces cost benefit analyses for TNE and concludes that utilising expert knowledge and preparation are key.
30 March 2015
Many detailed accounts exist of what TNE actually is, with much time and effort spent trying to pin TNE down to an all-encompassing one liner. Call it what you will, "cross-border", "offshore", "borderless" - the list goes on - in very basic terms TNE is "a student gaining a qualification awarded by an institution from another country without leaving their own country." This one-line summary can take many forms and be broken down into numerous sub-sets.
TNE is hardly new: it has existed in its various forms for many years and I have been lucky enough to work on TNE projects for more than 20 years. Heading operations and recruitment management of the University of Hull Distance Taught programmes from 1992, we used the "flying faculty" model. This put us at the forefront of TNE in South-East Asia with thousands of students studying MBA programmes from bases in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Quickly extending our portfolio into the Gulf and Middle East, the UK and Australia, the model worked well for our delivery in terms of quality, internationalisation, promotion of the brand and income generation and we had the upper hand in terms of control.
TNE can enable study routes for students that may otherwise be deterred from international study. It opens up boundaries for what an institution can achieve, how it can be viewed and what it can give back to the international community. The most successful TNE projects are developed to meet the needs of all stakeholders; the institution, host country, local students and the host partner. Projects should provide positive impact in a number of areas including academic (capacity building, quality assurance), the economy (students' employability, contribution to a dynamic workforce, income generation), skills (required locally, enhancing hiring opportunity) and socio-cultural (studying another language, increasing cultural awareness). And the model used needs to fit the venture's goals and organisation's philosophy, as seen in the Hull approach discussed earlier.
Turning to the TNE models, are they costly and how will the provider benefit? So many models and so little time, as many a famous rock star probably once said! The table gives an introductory cost benefit analysis for some of the more common TNE models. Finance is not the only cost/benefit: costs/benefits can vary within models dependent upon the institution, its strategy, aims and objectives. Many more costs and benefits could be added to each column; this is more a 'starter pack' for TNE cost/benefit analysis.
Models of TNE have to fit the locality, demands and potential legal and financial regulations and limitations. For example, experience suggests that it can be difficult to establish a campus in many African countries, with regulatory and financial barriers to overcome - but online provision and collaboration agreements with local partners can provide a very positive experience in these regions. By contrast, education hubs and countries whose education strategies encourage international engagement, such as the UAE, the South-East Asian region and other Gulf nations, are open to models that may include a local presence and/or provision.
Before your institution dives full length into TNE provision, it is essential, in order to stand a chance of being successful, to be prepared. Think about the models that will work for the portfolio you want to establish, the resources you want to commit, and the environment you want to deliver in. Carry out research and due diligence, be serious and plan long term, most importantly, work with experts- whether that is to assist in sourcing and managing local partnerships, understanding local and national legal and financial regulations or being aware of local demand, successful marketing channels and local promotional partners. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
About the author
Matthew Hornshaw is an international education specialist with over twenty years' experience of developing HE services overseas for UK universities. Matthew established MGH Educational Consultancy to address some of the issues universities face in establishing TNE activity and generating funding. He spoke at HEGlobal's #tnefinance seminar on 11 March 2015.
Over the past 10 years or so Africa has become an increasingly important region that provides a fit within many internationalisation agendas; whether for student and staff recruitment, academic and corporate partnerships, curriculum development or purely cultural and socio-economic research. With a change in global circumstances and the importance of terrorism, health risks and government policy as factors impacting on the development of an internationalisation strategy it is vital that education providers aim to spread risk and look toward relatively untapped regions to enable a more diverse and productive portfolio, working efficiently and effectively with ever stretched budgets.
As Nigeria becomes the largest economy in Africa, and focus is drawn toward what was once a fumbling and tainted continent, Africa is vitally important for providers as a breeding ground for new initiatives and positive partnerships. Where some institutions have been working for many years, others are new to the region and it becoming plainly apparent that Africa, and specifically Nigeria, is no longer the stronghold of the UK with North America, Europe, Asia and, most tellingly, Australia moving in to an ever crowded market.
The 6th ASRC has changed and a new format to move with the times with the focus this year being “The 360 Degree Change in Student Recruitment”. The aim of the conference is to provide those that are relatively new to the region to find out more, and whether they are suited to working with Africa, and for those that have been working in Africa to be informed on the next steps, a strategic route to establishing and becoming more efficient and effective in these challenging times.
Another positive progression is that MGH Educonsult have partnered with Worldview International to provide the most incisive forum yet for those wanting to work with Africa and improve business development in the region. Probably the first ever event providing sessions from sector experts and leaders on a range of critical and relevant areas investigating trends, opportunities and threats for the future; below are the draft topics for discussion, (late changes may be made, full schedule with speaker profiles appearing on website soon);
- Agents; developing a positive partnership, maximising your return & achieving success - with input from industry experts that have been on both sides of the fence as university managers and agents
- Building a workable partnership; sessions from Vice Chancellors from African universities as to what they are looking for in a partnership
- Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail; Safe Travel & Work in Africa – a security expert provides invaluable advice, case studies and recommendations
- Cultural awareness and working with Africa; Ideas and opportunities to embrace culture awareness in order to provide a positive impact on student recruitment - A sector leading expert shows how cultural aspects impact on the recruitment process both in market and at the home institution
- Building your in-country presence; developing an integrated on-ground marketing and communications plan - vital information and experience from the local Country Manager of the first ever overseas based UK university office set up in Nigeria
- Student recruitment in an “anti-West” environment; the VP of an African university provides invaluable information based upon extensive research and local knowledge
- Developing strategic overseas partnerships; an effective and sustainable alternative to traditional recruitment – with examples and experience from a leading German university senior manager
- The Final Frontier; a full service educational provision in Africa - Working with Africa to have a fully functional campus in the region; the session is presented by a vastly experienced academic, and student recruiter, that led the setting up and successful establishment of campuses in Africa and Dubai
- In-country delivery; the opportunities, relevance and pitfalls to providing programmes of study in Africa - with experience of working for a leading private provider, the session leader will present invaluable information on the positives and negatives of delivery in market
- Partnership opportunities with Federal universities - Nigeria; the Secretary of the National Universities Commission of Nigeria will present on the situation in the leading market in Africa
- Forging positive links with secondary schools – with input from proprietors of African secondary schools
The conference will provide an Agent Speed Networking event during the late afternoon of the first day, giving both agents and institutions the opportunity to briefly meet and discuss objectives and aims with the potential to make further appointments. There will also be a Networking Dinner at the conclusion of the first day where delegates will have an opportunity to meet with other delegates and speakers. As we see this as an extremely important forum for discussion, there will be group break-out sessions throughout the event with feedback and findings shared amongst the delegates.
This conference is aimed at all levels from senior management who make the strategic decisions that will have a far reaching impact on the success of their institution, to those vitally important international staff that travel overseas and work at the “coal face”, experiencing the day to day factors that impact on a successful recruitment cycle. There will be interest for senior academic faculty who may want to find out what programmes are in demand and what research interests and partnerships could impact on their internationalisation strategy. The conference will appeal to schools, colleges and universities from all over the world that may be considering Africa as a new market or extending how they work in the continent. This event is an opportunity to hear from, and network with, high ranking officials from overseas universities, government bodies and scholarship committees, and to hear from knowledge leaders in the sector who understand the demands and needs of education providers from all over the world. To have these leading lights in one event is a one off and it is an opportunity not to be missed.
Booking via MGH Educonsult means that we can offer a special price for those making a booking before the end of August. Book no later than 31/8/14 and receive a discount on the normal price of £750 + VAT, meaning that for only £550 + VAT you can be part of arguably one of the most important student recruitment events you will attend this year. If you require more information please visit the event website: http://www.worldviewevents.com/singlevent/details/8. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Matthew Hornshaw recently undertook a visit to Sofia to discuss a potential working partnership with Mrs Bistra Ilieva, Managing Director of the Darbi Group of companies. Bistra heads up a portfolio of business entities covering such areas as education management, student recruitment, academic programmes of study, tourism and hospitality and sport management. Mrs Ilieva has extensive contacts in all areas but an area of expected growth is that of youth football development in partnership with local clubs and senior level officials.
Following a number of meetings with Bistra and her business associates, it was agreed that MGH would work with Darbi in a range of areas, these include:
- acting as UK contact for links with overseas study destinations
- sourcing UK sports clubs to engage in activities in Bulgaria including sports tours (football, golf, volleyball etc.), sports camps and training venues
- the UK contact for links with professional football clubs to engage in player trials and tournaments in Bulgaria and identification and placement of players into the UK
Part of the MGH remit with Darbi is to assist another of our partners, Brooke House College, with their link to Darbi, and Matthew also represented Brooke House whilst in Sofia.
The UKBA is set to be scrapped, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May, announced. Work covered by the UKBA will return to the Home Office and will be split into two parts; one covering the visa system and the other focusing on immigration law and enforcement.
The UKBA has made changes to its rules to take effect as from 6 April 2013. Highlights include the increase in application fees, the potential for PhD students on a Tier 4 visa to apply for an extra year following graduation to seek relevant work and at Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to include additional places for talented MBA graduates.
It is now, more than ever, essential that where you study adds to your CV, whether that be for research or teaching. Here, the Guardian newspaper (UK) focuses on the International Global Rankings put together by the Times Higher (UK). Have a look and see what they have to say about global higher education, but don't forget it's not all about rankings and league tables, whatever suits your needs is best for you.
All markets need the basic rudimentary tools to recruit students but many need those little tweaks to ensure return on investment and therefore a good diversity of students adding to the international experience on campus. Find out more about what a local agent feels is needed in the Central and Southern belts of Africa. Africa is so diverse so why would what works in Nigeria work in Namibia? Find out more here.
The UKBA has revoked the Highly Trusted Sponsor status of London Metropolitan University meaning that they can no longer recruit students from outside of the EU. In a move announced today the licence has been revoked with the UKBA stating that the university had "failed to address serious and systematic failings" identified 6 months ago.
This not only leaves potential students in the lurch it also poses a question as to whether or not those already studying with London Met will be allowed to stay. One must ask whether the UK education sector and the students were ever considered in such a move. This also brings into focus the wider ranging issues of the immigration policy of the UK
The internationalisation of business education is nothing new but do business schools go far enough? The MBA is a post experience programme and most students want to progress in their careers upon graduation. To do this in such an international market place takes more than just an academic certfificate.
An interesting article suggests that external and environmental influences impact most on the future of students studying overseas. Rahul Choudaha, director of research and advisory services at World Education Services suggest that 9/11 and the global financial recession have had the biggest impact on student mobility.
A segment of students has begun to emerge; those that have global aspirations but want to find more opportunities for education and employment mobility within their local region. Take a look at this Guardian newspaper article to see how one researcher sees the model within South and South East Asia.