chapter  3
11 Pages

International and Regional Quality Assurance and Accreditation

Olcott (2009) observes that most cross-border higher education is delivered face-

to-face through branch campuses or partnerships with universities in the host

countries. However, a political and economic environment that favours global

trade in products and services and the opportunities provided by the Internet are

leading to a growth in cross-border higher education delivered wholly or partly

online. A 2002 Observatory on Borderless Higher Education survey in

Commonwealth countries revealed that 11% of all international students were

studying online at a distance (OBHE, 2002). However, it was noted that these

figures were skewed by a few major providers. For example, about 30,000 or

14% of Open University students were outside the United Kingdom, while

another 10,000 were studying through partnerships with other UK or overseas

institutions. At the majority of institutions, the proportion of international stu-

dents studying at a distance online was 3-4%. A year later, Pohl (2003) reported

that 60,000 of the University of Phoenix’s (UoP) 140,000 students were studying

online but only 4000 or again just over 3% of these were overseas, mostly US

military personnel or other American citizens.