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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

QAA publishes new report on UK higher education in China

Date 30/10/2017

Our latest country report looks at China, a key country for UK transnational education, with a focus on the higher education and quality assurance landscape.

The China higher education sector currently comprises a total of 2,914 higher education intuitions enrolling over 36 million students, with eight million expected to graduate in 2017.

China is the second largest host country for UK transnational education (TNE) - after Malaysia, and just before Singapore - with over 65,000 TNE students studying for a UK award: an increase of 14.5 per cent from the previous year, and over 80 per cent over the past five years, making China the fastest growing host country of UK TNE.

Significantly, UK TNE in China plays an important role in facilitating student mobility to the UK. Fifty-five per cent of Chinese students studying in England start their studies on UK TNE programmes in China. This importance cannot be underestimated given that China is by the far the main sending country of international students in the UK.

Foreign providers in China must operate in partnership with local institutions. UK higher education providers are the top partners for TNE provision, with 254 approved joint programmes and 21 joint institutes, representing 22 per cent of the total foreign provision in the country.

UK providers are ideally placed to continue to grow and develop their partnership with Chinese providers, as the local regulatory environment increasingly encourages quality education resources capable of meeting the development and economic needs of the country.

QAA has developed strategic partnerships with the two agencies playing a key role in overseeing Sino-foreign partnerships: the Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).

We would like to thank these agencies for their support in developing this report, as well as the British Council China and Universities UK International, who have provided invaluable input and oversight. 

Our next country report will focus on the Republic of Ireland, as part of our TNE Review of Ireland.

Previous country reports: