Practices to improve collaboration by reconfiguring boundaries in transnational education

Lynne Maree Keevers, Oriana Price, Betty Leask, Fauziah KP Dawood Sultan, Jane See Yin Lim, Vin Cent Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates quality assurance as boundary-making practices that establish and re-establish boundaries of a transnational education (TNE) partnership between an Australian and a Malaysian higher education institution. Drawing on practice theory we offer a conception of boundaries as enacted, shifting and performed by the multiple actors involved in the partnership. We employ a relational, practice-based approach and a participatory action research methodology to investigate how quality assurance could be re-configured to enhance relationships and collaboration, and support on-going dialogue, co-developed curriculum and context–sensitive quality measures. This paper re-casts boundaries and borders as collective performances, offering an expanded conception of boundaries from the dualistic home-host, pre-given conceptions common in the TNE literature. Our case study demonstrates how participatory action learning (PAL) is useful for expanding and re-shaping the boundaries in TNE in ways that support the creation of transnational teaching teams and intercultural communities of practice. We show how stretching the boundaries from a dyadic relationship between quality assuror and subject coordinator to include sessional academics and enacting PAL projects using communal media generates the conditions of possibility for developing teaching teams that are transnational in practice as well as in name. The move towards joint responsibility for the development of curriculum, teaching and learning contributes to more equitable partnership approaches and creates possibilities for intercultural engagement between academics and students in different geographical and cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of University Teaching and Learning Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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