Emerging Issues and Future Prospects in the Management of Transnational Education

Joseph Bosire, Catherine Amimo


Transnational Education has gained momentum under the auspices of the General Agreement on Trade in Services administered by World Trade Organizations which have provided for successful marketing of higher education across borders. This paper reviews past research, discussions and analyses on the topic on a global perspective. The objectives are to establish the rationale for transnational education, emerging issues over the providers, mode of supply, the potential of the market and issues on curriculum and pedagogy. Past research reveals that transnational education is anchored on economic, political, cultural and educational rationales. The global market for transnational education is asymmetrical where some nations are exporters (UK, US, Australia), and others importers (Africa, Latin America and Central Asia). The modes of provision include cross-border supply, commercial presence and presence of natural persons. The potential of the market is growing - commercial presence being dominant. The emerging issues include competition, differences in pedagogical practices, loss of nations and learner autonomy, control and self-respect of higher education, confusions on qualifications and transfer of academic credits, escalated costs, commercialization of knowledge as a commodity, dominant language (largely English) used as a medium of communication, and de-contextualization of the national curriculum. Quality assurance and accreditation are also at stake since the national/states capacity for regulating the supply of transnational education is limited. Though discussions on transnational education are on-going, stakeholders need to work with governments, non-governmental organizations, Higher Education Institutions and regulators to improve the future of transnational education, including developing an acceptable code of conduct.  

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v6n5p143


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International Journal of Higher Education
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