We want to support the development of UK universities’ influence on the world stage, and ensure that the UK higher education sector remains competitive by international standards.

Education is one of the UK’s strongest export industries, and the impact of UK universities can be felt throughout the world. More than 1 million overseas students are now studying for a UK higher education qualification either in the UK or in their home country, and the UK’s excellence in research is underpinned by global networks of collaborations.

We want to ensure that the UK higher education sector not only retains, but enhances, its strong international position by:

  • working with the UK government to secure a favourable domestic policy environment for universities to achieve their international objectives

  • collaborating with Universities UK International to help our universities extend their global connections and influence by providing research and analysis of international trends in transnational education, outward student mobility, engagement with scholarship programmes, and recruitment

  • researching higher education policy developments abroad to understand how best practice overseas can inform the development of higher education policy at home

Our work on internationalisation is overseen by our International Policy Network, chaired by Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter.

Internationalisation at home - developing global citizens without travel

16 June 2021
This report looks at international activities delivered at home, showcasing impactful programmes, benefits and good practice.

Managing risks in Internationalisation: Security related issues

15 October 2020
Universities UK (UUK) has published detailed guidance for institutions on the considerations and measures they should take to guard against hostile interference and promote academic freedom.

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International students in UK higher education: the UK and its competition

25 September 2014
The UK higher education sector's reputation remains strong internationally, but recent immigration reforms have generated both opportunities and threats.

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One size fits all? An analysis of the international student’s journey through the UK higher education system

2 June 2014
Examines the different data sources on non-EU students coming to the UK and what the data tells us about students’ destinations once they graduate.


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Supporting LGBT students studying overseas

10 March 2020
Stonewall's Emma Kosmin on steps universities can take to provide support for LGBT students studying overseas.


New guidance can ensure universities protect and develop international partnerships

15 October 2020
Universities are today publishing guidelines to better safeguard themselves against security-related risks that can result from international collaborations.

Clock is ticking for UK to make clear that visa system changes will support international students

5 June 2020
The UK government must make clear to international students in the next few weeks that they can still have confidence in studying at UK universities, otherwise the UK risks losing them to overseas competitors.