Pakistan’s population is estimated to reach 403 million by 2050 (UN median range projection). Pakistan has more young people under the age of 30 than it ever did. With only 214 Higher Educational Institutions, the dearth of good higher educational institutions with a global reach is a real challenge. (British Council and Higher Education Commission Pakistan, 2021)The rising inflation and the lock down has not helped. Students have never found themselves in times like they do now. Higher Education clout in Pakistan have had to become creative and greener soon, and looking at this opportunity TMUC saw the potential and the solution for the economy and the educational void for quality education.
Successful collaboration would accrue ecological, international, social and economic benefits, giving students cross cultural experiences, technology transfer, taste of international curriculum, open them to global possibilities.
The Millennium Universal Colleges - TMUC:
According to the latest Aggregate Offshore Record published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the academic year 2015-16, the number of students studying for a UK award in Pakistan has reached 46,640. This represents an increase of approximately 10 per cent from the previous year, and about 33 per cent over the past five years, placing Pakistan as the fourth largest host country for UK TNE, after Singapore, China and Malaysia. (Quality Assurance Agency, 2017)
118 Pakistani universities have developed partnerships with over 90 universities in the UK and there is increasing the scope for British professional and academic qualifications delivered in Pakistan. (UK Foreign and Common Wealth office) www.gov.uk - UK Pakistan Education. But mostly research-based and some form of collaboration for teaching and exchange programmes. (Foreign & Common Wealth Office, 2014)
TMUC is an initiative by Pakistan’s third largest education group; The Millennium Education; Roots Millennium Schools Pakistan www.millenniumschools.edu.pk; where the organisation has been associated with teaching, curriculum, assessments and learning for nearly 34 years and are recognized globally as a centre of educational excellence, learning opportunity, teaching entrepreneurship and talent discovery, We recognize the many benefits partnerships and affiliations provide, such as enriching the curriculum and choice of programmes and in terms of the widening the learner participation and employability scope, thus facilitating entry into higher education by increasing the number of progression routes for our students. Global collaborations not only provide a diverse learning environment but also increase educational opportunity and promote a mutually supportive environment for staff, learners as well as raising the profile of both university and partner in our education districts.
TMUC is governed by an award winning advisory Council with thought, business, research, and academic leaders from across the globe. The Millennium Universal College, TMUC operates an integrated system for quality assurance and enhancement which makes an effective contribution to the achievement of our strategic Plan; which underpins the academic planning process. The ultimate aim, underpinning the vision, is the commitment to create the best possible student experience. Such a system is sufficiently robust to safeguard the standards of the academic awards and regulatory regime in Pakistan and clearly articulate with the UK Quality assurance code for higher education and in the regulatory eco-system of the countries we serve. TMUC understands the importance of keeping abreast of international developments and best practices in higher education and sees this as part of being a self-critical academic community which evaluates and enhances its quality assurance procedures to encourage that culture. The maintenance and enhancement of the academic standards of the institution depend foremost on the commitment of all the staff continually to evaluate and reflect on the quality of the educational experiences provided for students. The Millennium Universal College is unique because it used its teaching and learning background to translate into its natural progression of Higher Education, and succeeded in a TNE footprint across the country. TMUC developed learning and teaching resources along the way and continues to learn, unlearn and re-learn. What was needed was a strong partner with values aligned with TMUC to benefit students learning experience and to enhance their skills set, providing them better employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
One of Pakistan’s largest TNE groups, it operates purpose-built university campuses across major urban cities offering a range of international higher education programmes, and aspiring to become a leading provider of borderless education. (Quality Assurance Agency, 2017, pp. 13-14)
TMUC currently has six partnerships, ranging from a franchise agreement, license agreement, academic support agreement, and we are currently working on an international branch campus.
University of London – TMUC:
TMUC started teaching the University of London distance learning programs as a recognised teaching centre in 2011, with one suite of EMFSS (economics, management, finance and social sciences) later we started offering the Laws qualifications through their consortium of universities. We now offer the Royal Holloway undergraduate business program including the Laws and the EMFSS suite (LSE academic direction). We have had over 1500 alumni in the University of London distance learning program. The alumni contributed to the economy and the legal ethos of Pakistan.
TMUC has a proud history of excellence, where our students have received global recognition in their academics. Achievements include student awards and success stories. TMUC is also proud to have received a grant of £5000 from University of London in 2015. TMUC’s proposal of Transnational Study Buddy society won the prestigious Global Network Development Grant, the proposal was selected out of 114 proposals worldwide.
Type of Collaboration:
The partnership agreement is that of distance learning program. The recognition process involves focus on the recruitment numbers and consistent good results of the students on the program. This distance learning program is one of the oldest and largest TNE in the world. You can start teaching and giving student support, even before writing to University if London for approval of the recognition. To become a recognised centre you need to have delivered at least three years of the undergraduate program with sound academic delivery evidenced through the results. TMUC now has 5 recognised campuses offering UOL’s undergraduate programs. A business case is presented and monitored for approvals for new campuses and markets. The biggest challenge is student hopping where students can move from one campus to another (competitor). Student attendance is also a challenge as the assessment controls are all with the external partner body, the centre is usually used as a study support. The self-evaluation document and the institutional annual monitoring report is submitted yearly. The Institutional Period Review is conducted every three years for the continuation of the ‘Recognised status.’ The regulator approves and equates and accredits the programs.
University of Hertfordshire – TMUC:
TMUC began its journey of partnership with University of Hertfordshire in 2016, organically looking into a top-up for our HN Business and later HN Computing students transitioning into the level 6 top up after completing the level 5 HNs. We entered into a programme portfolio of undergraduate degrees in, Business Administration level 6 and Bachelors of Computing level 6.
We started teaching all three years undergraduate program and entered into a supported distance learning agreement for the undergraduate program in 2018. A total of over 800 students are enrolled into the programs with UH (University of Hertfordshire) in 2022. We have had over 3000 alumni on the UH- TMUC partnership since 2016-2022.
Type of Collaboration:
The agreement between University of Hertfordshire and TMUC is that of a supported distance learning. The assessment controls are with the university and TMUC supports learning by providing study support through face to face teaching, resources and student engagement on campus. The various schools that deliver the programs through the VLE with the partner (in this case TMUC) manage the quality of delivery and have an annual monitoring reporting mechanism. The regulator approves and equates and accredits the programs.
University for the Creative Arts and TMUC:
TMUC began its journey of partnership with University for the Creative Arts in 2018, organically looking into a top-up for our HN Fashion and Textiles and later HN Creative Media Production, students wanting to do their top up after HN level 5 into the level 6 top up after completing the level 5 HNs. We entered into a programme portfolio of undergraduate degrees in, Fashion and Textiles level 6 and Creative Media Production level 6.
We are now 425 students recruited in the programmes as of 2022, with 168 proud UCA Graduates with 99 First Class Honors.
The collaborative provisions offices at both the institutions have worked hard and managed through the initial setting up challenges to the day to day operational and academic concerns. The link tutors have immensely supported the academic delivery with the most difficult and challenging 2 years globally. We had to face Government lockdowns due to Covid, a lot of staff and students infected and not well but hard work and the right attitude to persevere helped us pull through.
The UCA programmes are offered in the 5 urban cities in Pakistan. The resources provided to the students are the best in the country.
Type of Collaboration:
The collaboration that both organisations have agreed upon is a Franchise agreement. TMUC has had the creative and contextualisation freedom to enrich the curriculum being offered through UCA. UCA’s flexibility to allow TMUC to teach the programme learning outcomes with contextualisation as per the cultural context of the country has helped develop learning outcomes that address local needs. Because of which the employment markets for the graduates of UCA from TMUC were open and accessible. The program is designed to help employ the graduates and give them the entrepreneurial kick start. The competitiveness of the programme resulted in a portfolio and skill set that ensures student success.
The regulator approves and equates and accredits the programs.
TMUC and Pearson:
BTEC Higher Nationals are delivered at both universities and colleges in 60 countries around the world. They are an ideal choice for students seeking an affordable and relevant route to a degree or employment. This year over 100,000 students in the UK and worldwide will choose to do a Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma to help them progress in their career. BTEC Higher Nationals at TMUC provide specialist learning at Levels 4 and 5 in six subjects, offering a cost-effective, vocational pathway to higher education.
TMUC started offering the HN Pearson vocational qualifications in 2015, and at one point we were offering HN Fashion and Textiles, HN Business, HN Creative Media Production, HN Computing, HN Construction Built Environment, PGD level 7. We are still offering HN Fashion and Textiles and HN Business and Computing.
So far we have had over 1500 graduates with 800 HN Business alone. The HNs are the largest number of qualifications we offer in student numbers. The regulator approves and equates and accredits the qualifications. All assessment controls are with the centre TMUC, an External Examiner is assigned to review our assessment decisions. We have had consistently maintained quality and have excellent International Standard Verifiers reports for the past 09 years.
Type of Collaboration:
We are an approved teaching centre 91349 with HN Pearson and the centre agreement stipulates. We have almost all the assessment controls and the regulatory body approves offering the HNs and accredits the HN degree.
TMUC and NCC:
NCC Education Level 3 International Foundation Diploma for Higher Education Studies (Code: L3IFDHES) formally called the International Foundation Year (IFY) is a one year pre university qualification that includes a significant degree of English language teaching. The qualification is designed to provide an entry route to the UK and international university courses or progression onto the UK Qualifications Level 4 Diplomas in Computing, Business, and Business IT.
NCC qualifications are recognized by universities, professional bodies, and employers worldwide. They have built their reputation as a quality education provider and awarding organization through developing stringent quality assurance processes to ensure that qualifications. Accredited Partner Centers’ and services are of the same high-quality standard throughout the world.
TMUC started offering the NCC foundation year program in 2019. We have had 170 students complete their foundation year and about 80% have enrolled into one of the undergraduate programs being offered at TMUC.
Type of Collaboration:
TMUC has a licence agreement to offer and teach the NCC qualification. TMUC is called an Accredited Partner Centre. NCC is NOT IBCC (Inter Board Committee of Chairmen) accredited or approved. Students studying at the level 3 program will have to move into UK undergraduate program and the students are told this at the time of enrolment.
Successful collaborations and partnerships extend the reach, impact and urgency of green internationalization activities. Such relationships can provide ecological, international, and cross-cultural experiences for students and faculty, enhance the curriculum, generate revenue, and raise the visibility and sustainability literacy of institutions at home and around the world. This is what all the partnerships largely entail. The value and impact includes, technology transfer, prestige and global recognition, revenue diversification, internationalisation of the curriculum and cross cultural understanding and skills.
As for the social impact TMUC’s partnership also provides an opportunity for working professionals to upgrade their qualifications while working full time as they have limited scopes through local education systems. It allows obtaining qualifications without leaving the home country and their employment.