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The method for the quality evaluation and enhancement of UK transnational education 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.

The QE-TNE Scheme applies to all UK degree-awarding bodies on a voluntary basis and operates over the academic years 2021-22 to 2025-26. It is enhancement-led, informed by robust metrics, and has the student experience at its heart. Fundamental to the new approach is collaboration between QAA and local higher education bodies to build and deepen mutual understanding, cooperation and trust.


The five-year programme, one major host country/territory will normally be selected each year together with two others such as those that are emerging or developing, or those with smaller TNE numbers. The selection criteria are detailed in the QE-TNE Handbook.


The countries participating in the QE-TNE programme in the next two years are:

  • 2021-22: Egypt, Germany and United Arab Emirates
  • 2022-23: Peoples’ Republic of China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka

So far, over 75 UK higher education providers have chosen to participate in the QE-TNE Scheme.


There are five stages in the QE-TNE Scheme:

  1. Creating a schedule of country-based activity
  2. Relationship building with host country
  3. Preparation and planning in UK
  4. Evaluation activity
  5. Reports, publications and wider outcomes

Full details of each stage are given in the QE-TNE handbook.

The Quality Evaluation and Enhancement of UK Transnational Higher Education (TNE) Provision 2021-22 to 2025-26

Publication date: 11 Mar 2021

Outputs and resources

QE-TNE results in published reports and a range of resources, as well as strengthened relationships and international understanding (see Annex 5 of the Handbook).

  • Overview report per country
  • Strong relationships with host countries
  • Mutual trust and recognition
TNE Scheme participants
  • Institution visit reports
  • Case studies
  • Student experience report
  • Country report

QAA Members who have joined the Scheme have access to a wider range of QE-TNE resources, and there are extra benefits for those QAA Members who have the International Insights package. 


QAA Members
  • Dissemination event and resources
  • TNE partner access to events
International Insights Members
  • Thematic analysis
  • Best practice guides
  • Toolkits and practical resources
  • Training events


The QNE-TNE Scheme offers many benefits for different types of stakeholders and participants.

  • Overview report on each country visited
  • Deepened relationships with host countries
  • Greater mutual trust, understanding and recognition between the UK and TNE host nations

  • QE-TNE Scheme Kitemark
  • Published outputs:
    • institution visit reports
    • case studies
    • student experience report on each country
    • country report


The QE-TNE Scheme is open to all UK degree-awarding bodies, but if your institution is also a QAA Member there are added benefits. Additional resources and outputs from the Scheme will be made available to QAA Core Members participants, with further benefits only available to International Insights Members participants. More information is given in the handbook.


QAA Members

  • Opportunity to participate in dissemination events and resources
  • TNE partner access to events


Further benefits for International Insights Members

  • Able to access the insights provided through:
    • thematic analyses
    • best practice guides
    • toolkits and practical resources

  • Overview report
  • Deeper relationship with UK and QAA
  • Opportunity to feed into the process
  • Opportunity for joint working
  • Benefits from greater insights into the student experience, alumni and employer views
  • Opportunity to address areas of benefit for TNE provision
  • Meetings between relevant agencies and authorities and the QAA QE-TNE review team

  • Access to country-specific publications not in the public arena:
    • visit reports
    • case studies
    • student experience report
    • country report

QE-TNE Kitemark

UK degree-awarding bodies participating in QE-TNE Scheme will be listed on the QAA website as participants of the Scheme. All participating institutions and their overseas TNE partners are able to use the QE-TNE Kitemark, which is a public statement of their commitment to quality. Only the QE-TNE Kitemark carries the backing and endorsement of sector agencies Universities UK and GuildHE.

The QE-TNE Scheme Kitemark must be used in accordance with its Terms and Conditions.