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Transnational education: consultation closes on 'key component' of UK higher education

Date: January 22 - 2020
Over 100 higher education providers and sector bodies from across the UK and internationally have responded to a new consultation on approaches to transnational education (TNE).

The joint consultation - Future Approaches to the External Quality Enhancement of UK Higher Education Transnational Education - was delivered by QAA, Universities UK (UUK) and GuildHE, and closed at the start of January.

TNE is an important component of UK higher education. In 2018-19, a total of 142 universities reported TNE activity across the globe, with over 666,000 students studying for UK awards abroad.

According to the latest available government statistics, TNE exports were estimated at £2.1bn (2017), up 94% since 2010.

Rowena Pelik, Director Strategic Projects, QAA, said: 'We're delighted at the response to this new consultation. We have a great range and number of responses, with a robust set of quantitative and qualitative information. This gives us a great opportunity to develop detailed proposals for this key component of UK higher education - so we’d like to thank all of the institutions who gave their time to take part'.

Vivienne Stern, UUK International's Director, said: 'The breadth and depth of responses to this consultation is testament of the commitment of Universities UK members in all UK nations and their partners overseas to enhance their transnational education offer. We must work together as a sector to strengthen our leading position in TNE worldwide, and this consultation will help us identify mechanisms to continuously improve the quality of our provision'.

Alex Bols, Deputy Chief Executive of GuildHE, said: 'The strong consultation response rate, from a wide range of providers both within the UK and from our international partners, will allow us to develop a robust approach to enhancing the quality of UK higher education delivered across the globe'.

QAA, UUK, and GuildHE will now undertake an analysis of the responses in order to develop a high-level proposal by mid-April 2020. The organisations will then work with TNE providers and stakeholders to develop a more detailed proposal later in 2020.