Stimulation and facilitation of the internationalization of higher education




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Recommendations for Institutions and Providers


Realizing higher education potential is a shared responsibility of many stakeholders, including the associations cited below and the higher education institutions they represent. We urge all engaged in planning, providing, monitoring, and negotiating higher education across borders to adhere to the principles articulated in this statement and to implement the action items. By taking these steps, and working collectively, we will help address the urgent need for national and international policy frameworks for sharing quality higher education across borders and affirm the value of higher educationíŽs continued contribution to the public.


Based on these principles, we endorse the following action agenda for adoption and implementation by higher education institutions and other providers engaged in education across borders. In order to benefit from past experience, implementation efforts should recognize and, where appropriate, build on existing legal instruments, policy statements, for initiatives that are consistent with these principles and promote further research and policy dialogue.


íP         Become conversant with issues surrounding cross-border education and trade to inform the exchange among associations and their associationsíŽ engagement in a constructive dialogue with governments.

íP         Strive to ensure that higher education across borders contributes to the broader social and economic well-being of communities in the host country, is culturally sensitive in its approach and content, and strengthens local higher education capacity by, for example, cooperating, when appropriate, with local institutions.

íP         Improve access to programs and courses by providing support to qualified students from other countries with financial need.

íP         Obtain the proper authorization to operate as a higher education institution from government or other competent bodies in the home and host countries. At the same time, governments and competent bodies should increase their collaboration, transparency, and information sharing in order to alleviate the administrative burden on higher education institutions.

íP         Build a culture of ongoing quality review, feedback, and improvement by creating robust quality assurance processes at the institutional level which rely heavily on faculty expertise and incorporate the views of students.

íP         Cooperate with their associations as well as with relevant governmental and nongovernmental bodies to develop effective quality assurance principles and practices and apply them to cross-border activities.

íP         Cooperate with relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies to improve the international exchange of information and cooperation on quality assurance and recognition issues.

íP         Provide reliable information to the public and students in a proactive manner, particularly with respect to the institutioníŽs legal status, award granting authority, course offerings, quality assurance mechanisms, as well as other relevant facts as suggested by codes of good practice.


Guidelines for Institutions and Providers


Commitment to quality by all higher education institutions/providers is essential. To this end, the active and constructive contributions of academic staff are indispensable. Higher education institutions are responsible for the quality as well as the social, cultural and linguistic relevance of education and the standards of qualifications provided in their name, no matter where or how it is delivered. In this context, it is recommended that higher education institutions/providers delivering cross-border higher education:

íP         Ensure that the programs they deliver across borders and in their home country are of comparable quality and that they also take into account the cultural and linguistic sensitivities of the receiving country. It is desirable that a commitment to this effect should be made public.

íP         Recognize that quality teaching and research is made possible by the quality of faculty and the quality of their working conditions that foster independent and critical enquiry. The recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel and other relevant instruments need to be taken into account by all institutions and providers to support good working conditions and terms of service, collegial governance and academic freedom.

íP         Develop, maintain or review current internal quality management systems so that they make full use of the competencies of stakeholders such as academic staff, administrators, students and graduates and take full responsibility for delivering higher education qualifications comparable in standard in their home country and across borders. Furthermore, when promoting their programs to potential students through agents, they should take full responsibility to ensure that the information and guidance provided by their agents are accurate, reliable and easily accessible.

íP         Consult competent quality assurance and accreditation bodies and respect the quality assurance and accreditation systems of the receiving country when delivering higher education across borders, including distance education.

íP         Share good practices by participating in sector organizations and inter-institutional networks at national and international levels.

íP         Develop and maintain networks and partnerships to facilitate the process of recognition by acknowledging each otheríŽs qualifications as equivalent or comparable.

íP         Provide accurate, reliable and easily accessible information on the criteria and procedures of external and internal quality assurance and the academic and professional recognition of qualifications they deliver and provide complete descriptions of programs and qualifications, preferably with descriptions of the knowledge, understanding and skills that a successful student should acquire. Higher education institutions/providers should collaborate especially with quality assurance and accreditation bodies and with student bodies to facilitate the dissemination of this information.


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