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Working Group on Quality Assurance of Off-Site and International Degree Programs

February 2009

To maintain and enhance the reputation of higher education in Alberta, post-secondary educational institutions, the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC) share an interest in ensuring that off-campus delivery of degree programs (whether alone or in partnership with other institutions, and whether offered within Canada or internationally), is at least of the same quality as is delivered by institutions offering approved degrees on their own campuses.

The Working Group on Quality Assurance of Off-campus and International Degree programs was established, therefore, to develop tools institutions might find helpful when they are considering offering programs off-campus on their own or in partnership with another institution, particularly if that institution were in another country. Membership on the Working Group included the Deputy Provost of the University of Calgary, the Vice-Provost of the University of Alberta, the Ministry's Director of International Education (or alternate), CAQC's Chair, and the Director of the CAQC Secretariat.

Toolkit for Off-site and Cross-border Delivery of Programs

The Working Group's toolkit of resources includes principles, a checklist and an annotated bibliography.

The first document provides the context, outlines principles that align with internationally accepted standards supporting quality, and presents some implications for delivery of programming off-site or across borders.

The checklist is meant to prompt thoughtful deliberation on the reasons for and complexities of offering academic programs at an off-campus site or with a partner institution and to promote quality in all aspects of the endeavour.

The annotated bibliography was developed to help institutions get a glimpse of the extensive literature addressing current issues in off-site delivery of academic programs in the context of increasing internationalization of higher education.

Please note that the Working Group is interested in hearing from institutions and others about the usefulness of the toolkit and suggested ways of improving and refining it. Submissions of other key documents that could be added to the annotated bibliography are also welcome.