PEER Webinar on 9 September 2022

How does COVID-19 Impact the Resilience
of UK-East Asia TNE Partnerships?

Compass resilience

You are cordially invited to join the PEER Webinar and Roundtable Dialogue: ‘How Does COVID-19 Impact the Resilience of UK-East Asia TNE Partnership?’’ on Friday 9th September 2022 , 09.00-10.45 UK time (16.00-17.45 Malaysian time), on Zoom

Please join the PEER webinar to find out more about the sources and factors that challenge and enhance the resilience of UK transnational education (TNE) partnerships in East Asia.

The theme

In the past decade, there has been an evolution, or rather a revolution, in the development of new forms of TNE programmes between the UK and different world regions of which East Asia hosts the most TNE students. In a nutshell, these higher education learning programmes are provided outside the UK but lead to an award of a UK degree-awarding institution. In some partnerships this might be a joint or dual award.

The latest statistics show more UK institutions than ever provided higher education degrees overseas and the TNE student number grew by 12.8% and reached nearly 500,000 in the academic year 2020-21 when the higher education sector faced immense challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (HESA 2022).*

The main TNE arrangements can be seen as a ‘TNE ladder’ distance learning, validation, franchise, collaborative, branch campus, which reflects an increasing level of UK partners’ commitment, investment or risk. Partners may change their TNE arrangements from one to another over time. Covid-19 has impacted these different types of TNE partnerships to varying degree. Additionally, the pandemic has also affected East Asian countries at different times and individual governments have responded in different ways. The challenges and mitigating measures of TNE partners are not universal across these countries during the pandemic and in the recovery phase.

The PEER project navigates the complexities of TNE partnerships, such as TNE rationales, components and structures, impacts, policies and regulations of sending or host countries across East Asia. At this webinar the PEER researchers analyse the Covid-19 impact on TNE partnerships through case studies. The Roundtable Dialogue will flesh out some important differences and camouflaging similarities of TNE partnerships in different contexts from historical, social, political and pedagogical perspectives.

* The figure included only students who study for awards or courses of UK universities, but study overseas without coming to the UK.Students who commence their studies outside the UK and subsequently come to continue their studies within the UK are included in the record up until the point at which they enter the UK.

The webinar is free of charge but registration is required.

To engage with wider audiences based in the UK, East Asia and elsewhere, we will use the Zoom platform. Further details will be sent to you after you have registered.


(See your own time zone here).

09.00-09.05 (UK time)

Welcome and Introduction by Professor Katherine Wimpenny, Coventry University


Presentation 1: COVID-19: a New Resilience Test for UK TNE Partnerships in Malaysia and Hong Kong
Dr. Luca Morini, Coventry University
Dr Jaya Priah Kasinathan, SEAMEO VOTECH
Prof Ka Ho Mok, Lingnan University, Hong Kong


Presentation 2: How has COVID-19 changed Scotland-China TNE partnerships?
Dr Bing Wu Berberich, Glasgow Caledonian University
Dr Jie Ma, Coventry University


Launch of TNE Interactive Maps. Questions and Answers 
Dr Que Anh Dang, Coventry University


Roundtable Dialogue: How to (re)build UK-East Asia TNE Partnerships post-Covid?
Dr Jaya Jacobo, Coventry University


  • Professor Vinesh Thiruchelvam, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), Malaysia
  • Associate Professor Eva Hartman, Cambridge University
  • Muhaimin Syamsuddin, Senior Manager, British Council Indonesia
  • PEER researchers: the above presenters

Collaborative TNE Partnerships


The PEER project studies Collaborative TNE and the Resilience of those TNE partnerships. Our working definition of Collaborative TNE refers to those partnerships that require the mobility of education programmes and institutions from the UK to East Asia and a collaborative effort between host and sending institutions to work together on the development of joint curriculum, course contents and recognition of credits, delivery of courses, internal and external quality assurance of the academic programme.

In practical terms, our case studies focus on articulation or progression partnerships leading to a UK qualification, joint/double degree programmes, or joint entities with a local academic partner.

We adopt the definition of the complex adaptive systems scholars that describe resilience as the adaptive and learning capacity of individuals, groups and institutions to self-organise in a way that maintains system function in the face of change or in response to a disturbance (Maclean, 2014). In the PEER project, we do not only treat resilience as an outcome – when TNE partnerships perform well during the pandemic or bounce back from disruptions, but we focus on specific capabilities that underlie resilience and on sources and factors that make a TNE partnership resilient.

Sources: Dang (2022) compiled from various UK universities’ documents.

Examples of Collaborative UK TNE Partnerships on East Asia

Validated Programme

New programmes devised and developed by a partner (or jointly with a UK university) using the UK university’s quality assurance protocols, which are then approved (‘validated’) by the UK university for delivery by that partner for an award of the UK validating university.

Articulation Agreement

These programmes involve a formal link between a UK university and a partner, providing a guarantee that a cohort of students who achieve an agreed standard in a programme at the partner will be able to progress to a particular stage of an award-bearing programme at the UK university, provided there is a close curriculum ‘fit’ for articulation purposes.

Progression Agreement

A UK university recognises progression from a programme a student has completed at a partner institution, either to the beginning or to a more advanced stage of an award-bearing programme at the UK university. Applications and assessments for the transfer to the UK university are normally received on an individual basis.

Joint award

A programme developed jointly by a UK university and a partner which may also have degree awarding powers, leading to an award of a UK university, or a degree awarded jointly by both institutions.

Dual Award

A programme of study jointly developed, delivered and assessed by a partner institution and a UK university leading to the granting of both a UK award and that of the partner institution.

Cofounded/developed academic entities (institute, college, university, etc.)

An academic entity is established in host country in collaboration with one or more UK universities. The academic programmes are offered through progression, joint/ dual degree arrangements. Local host HEIs also develop academic programmes independent of UK partners.

Note: The stand-alone TNE types, such as franchised programmes, international branch campus (without a local academic partner), self-study distance learning, often described as or independent foreign provision or imported programmes are outside the scope of the PEER project.