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The scale of UK higher education transnational education 2016-17

2 October 2018

Universities UK International has published its second annual data review on UK higher education transnational education (HE TNE). The report uses HESA data to provide analysis on where students study, at what level, and through what kind of provision at global and regional levels. 

Analysis shows that higher education transnational education continues to grow in every way: more students, more locations, and more universities were engaged in the UK HE TNE in 2016-17 than ever before. 

Read the full report here.

Here are the key findings of the report:

  • 707,915 students were on the UK’s HE TNE programmes in the year 2016-17: 1.6 times the number of international students in the UK in the same year. 
  • 84.7 % of UK higher education providers delivered TNE degree programmes although fewer universities were delivering at scale: 75% of UK HE TNE students were learning through 16 universities. 
  • UK HE TNE student numbers grew by 11.2% from 2013-14 to 2016-17, and 1.0% between 2015-16 and 2016-17. 
  • Overall, Asia hosted 48.7% of students, followed by Africa (22.5%), the European Union (10.9%), the Middle East (9.6%), North America (4.6%), non-EU Europe (2.8%), Australasia (0.6%), and South America (0.4%). 
  • The five countries hosting the highest number of students in 2016-17 were Malaysia (10.5%, 74,180 students), China (9,9%, 69, 855 students), Singapore (6.8%, 48,290 students), Pakistan (6.2%, 43,870 students), and Nigeria (4.7%, 32,925 students).  

UUKi Director Vivienne Stern said: 

"This report provides fascinating insights into the quickly changing nature and priorities of transnational education. The next few years could see even more students on UK programmes and more partnerships between UK and overseas partners. Regional, national, and local governments and education providers across the globe are looking to work to address local and global challenges with TNE as a core part of increasing capacity and sustainability for educating future generations. TNE can help to advance global knowledge and intercultural relationships through genuine partnerships for wider public and educational good.”

Last year’s report, the scale of UK higher education transnational education 2015-16, can be found here


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