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Transnational higher education (TNE) is the delivery of higher education level awards by recognised UK degree-awarding bodies in a country, or to students, other than where the awarding provider is based.


TNE enhances access to high-quality education for students around the world. It supports host colleges and universities by building capacity, and helps host countries meet labour market needs. For the UK, it brings soft power, generates revenue and is an important component UK degree-awarding providers' global engagement.

Quality evaluation and enhancement of UK TNE

The Quality Evaluation and Enhancement of UK TNE (QE-TNE) Scheme was commissioned by Universities UK (UUK) and GuildHE. It has been shaped through consultation with stakeholders in the higher education sector in the UK and worldwide.


One major host country/territory of UK TNE is selected each year of the Scheme, along with two others that are emerging or developing, or have smaller TNE numbers. The aim of the Scheme is to evaluate and enhance UK provision being delivered in these locations, and to ensure that UK TNE is recognised worldwide as providing education of the highest quality. A range of outputs are produced, such as country guides and case studies, which are available to members of the Scheme in a dedicated section on the QAA Membership Resources site.


QAA works with our counterpart bodies overseas to support the delivery of this Scheme. We do this through bilateral relationships and partnership agreements, as well as membership of quality assurance networks such as the European Association for Quality Assurance (ENQA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). 


QE-TNE is a programme of country-specific quality enhancement thematic activity with no regulatory status. Open to all UK awarding bodies, QE-TNE is a voluntary scheme operating over the 2021-22 to 2025-26 academic years. More than 75 UK higher education providers are scheme members. 


TNE reviews and reports

QAA has conducted reviews of transnational education for a number of years, across a range of countries, publishing reports of its findings. These reports precede the QE-TNE Scheme.


Malaysia (2019) Hong Kong (SAR) (2018) Republic of Ireland (2017) Greece and Cyprus (2015) Caribbean (2014) United Arab Emirates (2014) People's Republic of China (2012) Singapore (2011) Malaysia (2010) India (2009)