The scale of UK Higher Education Transnational Education 2017-18: Welsh providers

5 February 2020

This report uses data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to analyse Welsh TNE delivery. 

It provides an analysis of where students studied, at what level, and through what kind of provision during the 2017−18 academic year. It also puts some of the figures into context, by providing a longitudinal overview of trends in TNE.

Highlights of the report include:

  • There were 26,980 students on Welsh higher education TNE programmes in 2017-18. This represents 8.1% of the total TNE student numbers reported by all UK providers in 2017-18. 

  • 9 Welsh providers reported TNE students.  
  • Welsh TNE student numbers grew by 34.5% from 2013-14 to 2017-18. From 2016-17 to 2017-18, Welsh TNE student numbers grew by 9.7%.
  • 5 out of 9 Welsh providers reported more than 1,000 TNE students in 2017-18.
  • Collaborative provision accounted for 47.2% of all Welsh TNE students, compared with 44.3% across the UK as a whole. Overseas campus provision was less prevalent for Welsh providers than across the UK as a whole, with students registered at an overseas campus of the Welsh provider accounting for 2.5% of Welsh TNE students, compared with 8.5% overall in the UK.
  • There is a more even split between undergraduate and postgraduate for Welsh providers than for the UK as a whole. The proportion reported by Welsh providers was 52.4% undergraduate and 47.6% postgraduate level while in the UK as a whole the proportion reported was 64.9% undergraduate and 35.1% postgraduate.
  • Asia hosted 40.9% of Welsh TNE students, followed by the European Union (28.5%), Africa (16.0%) and the Middle East (13.1%). 
 Eduardo Ramos, Head of Transnational Education, Universities UK International:

‘Universities UK International is committed to widening the evidence base on UK HE Transnational Education. This is the first time we produce a report analysing data trends in TNE student numbers in Wales. We expect this report will support Welsh higher education leaders and policy-makers define strategic priorities in their internationalisation efforts related to TNE and we are keen to continue working with Universities Wales to enhance and diversify TNE provision from Welsh institutions worldwide.’

Tracey Marenghi, Head of Programme, Global Wales, Universities Wales:

‘We’re seeing a significant shift and increase in Wales with our TNE provision, with almost 27,000 students studying for offshore degrees in 2017/18, that’s 20% higher than those who come to Wales to study. Additionally Welsh provision of TNE has grown at a faster rate than the rest of the UK with an increase of 34.5% from 2013-14 to 2017-18 - these are interesting dynamics, strengthening the drive for delivering TNE in a sustainable way.’


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