31 July 2015

How to strengthen your international offerings

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In order to establish and sustain international student growth, institutions must be aware of the importance of stakeholder relationships, support students through industry and community engagement and overcoming offshore learning barriers to grow competitiveness. 

I recently interviewed one of our expert speakers from the Strengthening International Education Opportunities Conference, Claire Finch, Offshore Programs Manager, TAFE Northern Sydney to ask her on the challenges faced with transnational education and strategies to strengthen your organisation’s international education opportunities.

What challenges are faced when attempting to strengthen key stakeholder relationships for international education?
Firstly there are external factors such as change in government policies impacting on cooperation and thus relationships. Another challenge to consider is the change of personnel. It takes time to build personal relationships which need rebuilding when personnel change on either party. Finally, a challenge organisations face with international education is overcoming the differing values, culture and languages barriers.


What are the risks associated with international education including Transnational Education?

One major risk is the ability to maintain the standards equivalent to Australia in a non-Australian environment. This is often a developing country where the culture and lifestyle are very different to Australia. Another risk includes not being able to ensure a relevance of programs that cater to local needs and those of the offshore students. Organisations must also be highly aware of the financial and legal risks heavily associated with TNE.


What three ways can ensure your organisation can stay both globally and locally competitive?

1.      Internationalisation of own organisation
2.      Customise, so you tailor programs to meet the client needs
3.      Genuine relationships with mutually shared goals so “a good fit” is established


How can quality assurance be enhanced in international education offerings?

Through strong, clearly defined, clearly communicated processes, quality assurance for both parties that caters to their needs can be achieved. Professional development and training is a necessity to enhance quality assurance and up skilling all staff involved in international education. This should also include administrative staff to ensure need for accuracy. Communication is vital both written and verbally, especially when faced with language barriers. Finally, quality assurance can also improve, so it is important to promote continuous improvement step by step.

To discover more strategies on how to optimise quality offshore learning, attend our upcoming Strengthening International Education Opportunities Conference next month.


As a tomboy child, Holly enjoyed watching wrestling and was The Rock’s biggest fan. She is from a tiny farming village in the north of England and has moved to Sydney to enjoy the city lifestyle. As a conference producer at Akolade, Holly enjoys researching with and learning from key professionals within a range of sectors to produce timely conferences. Furthermore, Holly enjoys how each day in the life of a conference producer is always different and exciting!


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