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International benchmarking continues with online processes

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UK NARIC's independent benchmarking of international qualifications and institutional reviews were faced with a major challenge as travel restrictions grew during March, and universities and colleges closed their campuses and switched to home-based working.

As institutions try to maintain forward progress on their operations and plans, in the face of all the current difficulties, they are keen to continue with their benchmarking and review projects, so that project work can be completed and targets met by end of 2020.

UK NARIC benchmarking work usually involves a site visit to the institution, but in the current situation, this is impossible, and may be so for months. Therefore we have developed online, remote-working alternatives, with virtual campus tours to evidence facilities and resources, and formats for videoconferences and online meetings so that we can discuss issues and questions in a structured way with faculty, management, and students.

Since late 2019, UK NARIC has been having discussions with leading vocational colleges in China, who are committed to achieving internationalisation objectives in 2020 and 2021 under the national 'Double High' development programme. A number of colleges, including Harbin Vocational & Technical College, which plays an important role in economic regeneration and retraining in North East China, are ready to start work now with UK NARIC on benchmarking and review to support their internationalisation goals, but they cannot afford any delays in their approved and agreed 'Double High' plans. Our new remote processes will allow work to continue, and allow the colleges to stick to their plans and development targets.

Several UK NARIC members who have expertise in vocational education have been in contact with us to potentially assist us in some of this benchmarking work, and also associated training and development work. We will be getting back in touch with you in coming days to further update you on this evolving situation. We are in talks with the China colleges to see if a planned in-country conference and training event might also be deliverable online.

We continue to welcome approaches from vocational education experts and subject specialists who are interested in supporting this work. Contact

31/03/2020 12:16:00