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New Country Report: People’s Republic of China

Date: October 2 - 2020

QAA has published a Country Report on the People’s Republic of China, exclusively for our International Insight Members. The report is part of a series of Country Reports that provide an overview of the higher education and regulatory landscape of key countries for UK transnational education (TNE).

The report contains unique insights and statistics, helpful to institutions delivering TNE, which were gathered from our strategic partnerships, and developed in collaboration with UUKi, the British Council and our Chinese partners.

Responding to requests from our International Insights Members, QAA created this report as an update to the China Country Report that was published in 2017, to take into consideration developments across China’s higher education landscape since that time. Notably, the report outlines changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on the digital delivery of programmes and quality assurance, providing advice to institutions on supporting their students during this time.

Exploring the regulations, challenges and opportunities in China’s rich and diverse TNE market, the report clarifies the relevant legislation and explains the changes in the application process for those wishing to deliver TNE. It also provides analysis on China’s outbound TNE partnerships, which have been steadily rising.

TNE presents fantastic opportunities for students, supporting the cross-pollination of ideas, and helping to achieve myriad societal goals. Granting easy access to high quality higher education and internationally recognised qualifications, TNE opens doors for students both overseas and domestically, and supports local institutions to meet high demand for higher education in China.

The most populous nation in the world, China offers a wealth of opportunity for TNE partnerships. Importantly, the Chinese government’s strategic vision of education actively encourages foreign exchange and collaborative delivery of education and focuses on both inbound and outbound student and staff mobility. China’s immense ambition in higher education is clearly illustrated by its gross enrolment rate for higher education in China, which stood at 50.6% in 2018, according to UNESCO.

The report provides updates on the roles and responsibilities of the QAA's partners in China - China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre (CDGDC) and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). It also outlines the work of the Cross-border Quality Assurance Network in Higher Education (CBQAN), with whom QAA is working and the Higher Education Evaluation Center (HEEC).

On behalf of all of its members, QAA engages regularly with officials in the Chinese Embassy in relation to Chinese students in the UK and has been providing advice on how the UK sector has responded to changes in teaching and learning delivery and the maintenance of quality and standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

QAA International Insights Members can access the report on our Membership Resources site. Publication of the report will be followed with a series of case studies and a webinar. 

For more information about TNE, and our current review of UK TNE provision, visit the TNE section of the QAA website. To find out more about subscribing to QAA's International Insights package please visit our membership page or contact