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What is UK HE TNE?

Transnational education (TNE) is education delivered in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based, eg students based in country Y studying for a degree from a university in country Z. UK HE TNE refers to UK degree programmes delivered outside of the UK. 

UK HE TNE is delivered through online/distance learning (either with or without local support), through local delivery partnerships (eg franchised delivery, joint and dual degrees, twinning arrangements, validation and quality arrangements) or through a UK institution’s physical presence in another country (eg branch campus, study centre or through flying faculty). 

UK HE TNE is delivered across almost all academic areas at all levels of study (undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research), often with the option to study part time or full time.

UK HE TNE is delivered in all but 15 countries; Malaysia,  Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Oman are the five countries hosting the greatest numbers of UK HE TNE students. 

Types of UK HE TNE delivery (2014–15)

UK HE TNE comes in all shapes and sizes. This reflects the range, needs and interests of partner countries, prospective students and UK universities. UK HE TNE is tailored to its settings and students. It offers students who might not otherwise be able to access the UK’s degrees excellent education through different modes of teaching and learning.


(HEGlobal 2016, The Scale and Scope of UK Higher Education Transnational Education) ​

UK HE TNE countries

UK HE TNE is delivered in all but 15 countries. The countries with the most UK HE TNE students are Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Oman. UK universities are growing their TNE partnerships around the world, and increasingly governments and overseas universities seek UK partners. Working together offers benefits to universities, staff and students in both the host country and in the UK. It also increases universities' global outlook and capabilities.


Excludes BSc Applied Accounting through                Includes BSc Applied Accounting through                
Oxford Brookes University/ACCA                             Oxford Brookes University/ACCA​

(HEGlobal 2016, The Scale and Scope of UK Higher Education Transnational Education) ​

UK HE TNE subjects

UK universities offer degrees overseas in many subjects and at all levels. These have become more diverse over time, and cater both to employment markets and skills priorities both in the UK and overseas.

TNE programmes by study subject ​


TNE students by study subject ​


(HEGlobal 2016, The Scale and Scope of UK Higher Education Transnational Education)

UK HE TNE students by level of study

​UK HE TNE students can study at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research levels across almost all academic fields of study. 70% of TNE students are studying at undergraduate level while postgraduate taught make up 25%. Undergraduate programmes make up nearly half of all programmes while postgraduate taught programmes make up 44% of TNE provision. ​


(HEGlobal 2016, The Scale and Scope of UK Higher Education Transnational Education) ​


 The Scale and Scope of UK higher education transnational education

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