The developing story is that UK transnational education (TNE) is growing in India, even as international student mobility to the UK is fairly static. Enrolments to UK-India TNE programmes have grown steadily over the last five years to 8,110, according to UUKi's recent report, The Scale of UK Higher Education Transnational Education 2015-16. This puts India 10th in the world for the number of UK TNE programmes being delivered.
In my view, there is no doubt that the market fundamentals remain strong and steady growth can be expected. But what sort of growth? Rather than allow the international branch campus model seen widely in other parts of Asia, the Modi Government has preferred the gradual development of international collaborative partnerships to support 'home grown' excellence. Collaborative programmes account for 80% of the TNE work in India, although there has been a recent announcement on online education (as yet unrecognised in India) which may rebalance that a little.
The government's key move in higher education has been the recent announcement on the establishment of 20 'Institutes of Excellence', which the government hopes, in time, will make a strong showing in global rankings. The selection criteria for the 20 institutes includes showing a track record on partnerships, and once identified, they will have more autonomy than other institutions to pursue additional partnerships.
So, if you feel the growing TNE market in India could be a great opportunity for your institution, keep the following tips in mind:
Carefully structured agreements (referencing liabilities, University Grants Commission/All India Council for Technical Education compliance, banking guidelines, payment terms and intellectual property protection) will help you avoid most standard pitfalls. Do not rush the development of an agreement - and definitely do not be tempted to try to apply a successful template for China to India.