DUAL DEGREES: TWICE AS GOOD?
University of Lincoln (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Transnational Education (TNE), i.e. the delivery of programmes and awarding of qualifications by one University at a campus or with a partner institution in a different country, is becoming increasingly popular. Factors affecting this include: changing demographics whereby diminishing numbers of eligible students are applying to study at the home institution; political factors such as Brexit or changes in immigration laws; financial factors such as the desire to increase revenue or to diversify sources of external income; brand building; networking etc.
Typically TNE is delivered at a branch campus of the home university located in the country of delivery, or in partnership with a local higher education provider based in another country. The models for TNE include franchised delivery, validated programmes, joint or dual degrees twinning arrangements.
This paper adopts a case study approach to investigate one particular model for TNE namely the dual degree. The paper considers a novel implementation of a dual degree whereby the curriculum followed by the students is the locally validated programme rather than the curriculum of the home institution. In order to make the award, the international partner curriculum has been mapped closely against that of the home institution. The mapping is carried out at a detailed level in order to establish that both the high level programme outcomes and the lower level module (sometimes called course) outcomes of the home institution’s programmes are all appropriately addressed by those of the international partner institution's curriculum. Coverage is then established by ensuring that on every piece of assessed work, it is clearly identified which learning outcomes of each institution are being assessed. Application of a mapping matrix, developed at the approval phase, by assessment setter, moderator and external examiner is carried out. On the basis of the correct application of that mapping, the overall coverage of outcomes is ensured and the award of the home institution is conferred on those students who successfully complete the award at the partner institution.
The case study reveals an interesting research question namely whether a programme of study is more than just the summation of its constituent learning outcomes or "is the whole greater than the sum of its parts"? Consideration is made whether there a level of decomposition or deconstruction of a programme that results in the essence of that programme being lost.
The paper concludes that by satisfying the functional constraints of the mapping, in combination with a carefully constructed system of mutual partner support, an appropriate and quality student experience can be achieved that both respects the local curriculum and delivers the home institution's award.
Keywords: Dual degree, transnational education.