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A Transnationality Index for Higher Education Institutions

Connelly, S., Garton, J., and Olsen, A. A Transnationality Index for Higher Education Institutions. 2010. RMIT University, SPRE P/L. Pages: 27.

In an effort to answer the fundamental question “how transnational are our higher education institutions?” this report takes as its point of departure a concept emanating from the world of international trade, namely the “share of an entity’s operations that are located outside its home country”.  From this perspective, an institution’s transnational education activity is considered to be the fundamental indicator of its transnationality, regardless of other considerations relating to its internationalisation profile. The authors propose an index that measures transnationality through a survey tool involving 20 questions that fall into four main categories: Strategy (Planning, Policy and Quality Assurance); Intellectual Capital (Education and Research); Logistics (Management and Administration) and Client Experience (Students and Partners). Although the authors admit that “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”, they assert that the end result may be useful on a variety of levels. Such benefits may include using the index for self-study, establishing an institutional profile, comparing and potentially benchmarking with other institutions, and future planning.

Observatory on Borderless Higher Education