Document Details

Title A Transnationality Index for Higher Education Institutions
Author Stephen Connelly, Jim Garton & Alan Olsen - RMIT University, SPRE P/L


How transnational are our higher education institutions? To propose an answer to this question, we have devised a transnationality index, drawing upon a concept from international trade, which is fundamentally about the share of an entity’s operations that are located outside its home country, and which has major ramifications for internationalisation of higher education institutions. The discussion about the degree of transnationality in a higher education institution is set in the context of transnational education (TNE) within a broader internationalisation framework. We argue that an analysis of an institution's TNE activity is the litmus test of its transnationality, whatever stage of development in internationalisation has been reached, and whatever education or business paradigm is in play, with a significant impact on institutional strategies, reputation and cultural change.

Measures of transnationality are proposed with rating criteria and examples relating in particular to the Australian situation, and a survey questionnaire designed. The measures involve 20 questions in the categories of Strategy (Planning, Policy and Quality Assurance); Intellectual Capital (Education and Research); Logistics (Management and Administration) and Client Experience (Students and Partners). Addressing the transnationality questions themselves requires the sort of planning and management tools that go with the development of sophisticated approaches to internationalisation in higher education, and not all data may be available. Nonetheless, the end result should be a rich profile of the transnationality of a higher education institution.

Potential uses of the transnationality index include establishing a profile for transnational effort for an individual institution; providing a basis for comparing the transnationality of multiple institutions (and potentially deriving benchmarks from these comparisons); and also looking to the future by using the index as a guide to planning for institutions. Institutions can ask not only “How transnational are we?” but also “How transnational do we want to be, and should we be?”

Date 01/11/2010
Region(s) Australia & Pacific Rim, All Regions
Countries Australia, International
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models

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