Transnational education “growing and diversifying” in UK HE

New Universities UK data shows more higher education providers than ever have students studying overseas

Universities UK International (UUKi) has published new data showing that more UK higher education providers than ever before have students studying overseas.

The data found that 156 UK providers reported students studying through transnational education (TNE) – the highest figure to date.

TNE is education delivered in a country other than the one in which the awarding institution is based – in higher education, delivery of a degree programme might be through a UK institution’s physical campus in another country, but can also be through local delivery partnerships or online/distance learning.

The fifth edition of UUKi’s ‘The Scale of UK Higher Education Transnational Education‘ report, which analyses Hesa data, found that:

  • 156 higher education providers reported students studying through TNE – more than ever before
  • TNE was available through 82.9% of all UK higher education providers
  • 59.8% of UK TNE students came from just 20 providers
  • 453,390 students were studying on UK TNE programmes
  • 68.3% were studying at undergraduate level, and the number of students studying at postgraduate level increased by 21.2% from 2015−16
  • 83 providers reported more than 1,000 students in TNE, compared to 69 in 2015−16
  • Only 6.2% of TNE students were dormant and only 4% withdrew from their course, while 67.6% of students were continuing study and 22.2% of students successfully completed their course.


“This report, now in its fifth edition, has become a powerful means to assess of the breadth and depth of UK transnational education across the globe,” said Eduardo Ramos, head of transnational education at UUKi.

“A majority of UK universities now undertake some form of TNE and we are glad to see cross-government support for this form of education as shown in the International Education Strategy and international education initiatives in the devolved nations.”


Pictured: The University of Nottingham, Malaysia

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