Transnational Educational Programs Were Discussed at NUST MISIS

NUST MISIS hosted an online forum “Transnational Education: Joint /Double /Dual Degrees” within the framework of the UK-Russia University Alliance program. World-class experts discussed the benefits of transnational education for universities, students and employees, as well as the main problems of Russian and British universities in the development and implementation of joint/double degree programs. The organizer of the forum is NUST MISIS with the support of the Culture and Education Department of the British Embassy in Moscow.

At the panel discussion, representatives of four Russian universities actively developing international cooperation — NUST MISIS, MGIMO, Russian State University for the Humanities and National Research University Higher School of Economics — discussed the current state of the transnational education market and the prospects for joint, double and dual degree programs. The experts underlined the importance of the language component and personal contact.

The participants of the discussion agreed that the main advantage of distance education in this context is the reduction of costs for universities and students, which makes a diploma from a foreign university affordable for more people. At the same time, the speakers emphasized that full immersion in the culture of the country is not possible online due to the lack of personal contact that contributes to the achievement of trust.

“NUST MISIS has examples of successful projects with British universities. For example, in 2010, with the support of Cambridge University Press, we launched a blended English language program, which is still working and is showing excellent results. Also, in 2019 we managed to open a School of pedagogical mastery with the aim of continuous improvement of teachers’ qualifications and the quality of education. This project is being implemented through collaboration with colleagues from University College London. Transnational education is more than incoming and outgoing academic mobility. I believe that mutually beneficial cooperation in this area can bring invaluable results,” said Timothy O’Connor, Vice-Rector for Education at NUST MISIS.

Experts from the British side spoke about the features and benefits of transnational education for universities in the United Kingdom. According to Karen Ottewell, Director of Academic Development & Training for International Students at the University of Cambridge, such programs increase the university’s prestige in other countries and help attract students at the global market. In addition, in the implementation of transnational education programs, the relations of universities with local business and international organizations are more actively developing.

“Joint, double and dual degree programs allow students to gain invaluable international experience from an academic, cultural and linguistic point of view, as well as to expand opportunities for teachers to work abroad. For partners, cooperation with British universities means access to world-class higher education and increasing the competitiveness of students and graduates in the labor market,” explained Karen Ottewell.

British experts emphasized that when developing transnational education programs, all participating universities should have their strengths and complement each other: the market, access to resources, educational offer, etc. According to the speakers of the forum, it is vital to clearly define the areas of responsibility and expectations from the second party in the very first agreements. Also, it is important to define economic priorities, cultural differences and build strong relationships based on mutual trust. The language issue plays an important role since open communication between the two universities is the basis for the effective implementation of the program.

“Transnational Education: Joint/Double/Dual Degrees” is the sixth out of eight online forums within the UK-Russia University Alliance program initiated by the Culture and Education Department of the British Embassy in Moscow. The events held are dedicated to a wide variety of topics: from issues of academic mobility of students to the problem of climate change.

The recording of the forum broadcast can be viewed here.