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Opportunity Assessment and Decision Making Processes Undertaken When Considering Offshore Vocational Education and Training


  • Wanhill, Richard


Globally, as the number of students choosing international education continues to grow, we are also seeing the rise of a fast growing subsection of international education, referred to as Transnational Education. Transnational Education is a shift away from the traditional international education market of recruiting students from their home country to that of the education provider’s country. With Transnational Education, the model is flipped, with learners studying in their home country, whilst being awarded a qualification from another country. UNESCO describes Vocational Education and Training as “educational programmes that are designed for learners to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies specific for a particular occupation or trade or class of occupations or trades†(UNESCO, 2011). New Zealand has a Vocational Education and Training system that is world recognised, with the teaching experience, skills, knowledge, programmes and infrastructure that could be of value to other countries, in particular developing countries in Asia. This qualitative research project looks at how New Zealand education providers, in particular Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs), assess opportunities and make decision when considering offshore Vocational Education and Training in the TNE environment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior employees of eight of New Zealand Institutes ITPs, representing 50% of the New Zealand sector. Two international competing countries are identified, to compare and contrast approaches to the opportunity assessment and decision-making processes for offshore delivery of Vocational Education and Training. This research project finds that there is differences between the way New Zealand education providers assess opportunities and make decisions, compared to the competing countries. From the literature review it determines that both of the competing countries have widely available formalised templates, decision-making tools, checklists and matrix, that have been developed for the good of that country’s providers, when considering whether to go/not go offshore. This research then discusses a number of key themes that came through during the semi-structured interviews. The development and use of widely available templates, decision-making tools, checklist and matrix is something that the ITP sector in New Zealand believes would add value, reduce risk and improve quality. The ITP sector would like to work closer with government agencies, and for these agencies to remove barriers to success and work with the sector as enablers. The literature review and the views of most of the interviewees identified the opportunity for the development of a model that is focused on lower level trades training for developing countries. When this is linked to New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreements with Asia, it becomes a region of focus. The final discussion point looks at the value of the New Zealand ITP sector working closely with a central government agency to develop a joined-up approach that helps New Zealand education providers standout in the global market.

Suggested Citation

  • Wanhill, Richard, 2015. "Opportunity Assessment and Decision Making Processes Undertaken When Considering Offshore Vocational Education and Training," MBA Research Papers 4936, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwmba:4936

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    Offshore; Vocational; Education;
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