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Strengthening student and brand outcomes through TNE


Providing the opportunity to study a quality program in their home country, it offers the choice, flexibility and confidence both students and parents are looking for when setting the foundation for success in higher education.

And from a brand perspective, TNE gives education institutions the opportunity to reach beyond their home base, to build and grow market presence on an international scale. This can be through a branch campus, or teaching curriculum and courses administered by a third party.

For UNSW College, we’ve seen that having a presence in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and soon in Thailand, has contributed to the awareness of UNSW as an institution of choice for students considering attending university in Australia.

The unique brand opportunity for TNE providers

The halo effect for universities and colleges who have a TNE presence is quite unique, raising both their profile and brand presence in the countries in which they operate. This particular type of brand exposure can’t be developed by traditional means.

In 2023 we partnered with education training organisation Kyoshin to launch UNSW Foundation Studies, the first Australian pathway in Japan. With Japan still a relatively small market for Australian Higher Education, our pre-market research indicated students there are reluctant to study abroad until they feel fully prepared.

The Foundation Studies program offers comprehensive university preparation for Japanese students to service that need, as well as year-round exposure for the UNSW brand in a market that is currently underserviced by Australian providers.

While awareness is lower than other markets where UNSW College has an established presence, we’re taking the opportunity to put our brand front and centre for Japanese students, with a product we know represents the brand well.

Maintaining brand integrity by supporting your TNE providers

Quality control and assurance in program delivery is a very important component of TNE that can filter down to the student experience and positively influence brand integrity. As word of mouth and recommendations from both students and agents are very important for attracting students to TNE programs, it’s crucial to provide partners with clear and consistent support.

At UNSW College we have a strong framework to support TNE operations built through research, comprehensive due diligence processes and stringent application of regulatory frameworks. TNE is also incorporated into UNSW College’s strategic planning.

Our commitment to providing ongoing support and professional development for all providers and centres strengthens the delivery of our programs and, in turn, our brand reputation. This includes a rigorous and ongoing quality measurement and audit process for all TNE partnerships.

“It is essential students have the same experience in any TNE setting, just as if they were studying at our main campus”

We also support our partners with robust account management and assistance with student engagement.

On the student side, we provide access to a single learning management system which is consistent across all program providers. It is essential that students have the same experience and quality of education in any TNE setting, just as if they were studying at our main campus in Sydney, Australia.

We are proud of UNSW College’s longevity in the TNE market, with our oldest partnership about to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

We were the first in Australia to offer a Foundation Studies program and have helped more than 40,000 students reach their university dreams.

By developing new pathways that cater to students’ changing needs, we’re broadening our reach while honouring our longstanding commitment to high quality international and transnational education.

About the author: This is a sponsored post by Sarah Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer of UNSW College. Sarah is a passionate advocate for connecting people with the transformative power of education.  Her diverse career spans continents and industries, from senior marketing and sales roles to leadership positions in education. As CEO, she oversees UNSW College’s strategy, operations, and performance, shaping its future and nurturing partnerships with 38 transnational education providers.

Since taking the helm in 2021, Sarah has spearheaded a bold transformation. UNSW College has secured its own Higher Education Provider status, rebranded, launched a suite of innovative programs including Diplomas and Pre-Masters, and expanded transnational pathways across Asia. Sarah’s leadership style inspires teams to achieve, fosters internal talent development, and guides significant cultural change initiatives.

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