The scale of UK higher education transnational education 2018-19


The fourth edition of our annual 'Scale of UK higher education transnational education' report uses data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency to analyse the complex story of UK TNE delivery, including regional breakdowns.






Key findings of the report include: 

  • 142 higher education providers reported students studying through TNE, more than ever before.
  • 85.5% of all UK higher education providers delivered TNE degree programmes. 20 providers reported 75.5% of UK TNE students.
  • 666,815 students were studying on UK TNE programmes, which was 1.4 times the number of international students in the UK in the same year.
  • UK TNE student numbers decreased by 26,875 students (–3.9%) from 2017–18.
  • 52.1% of students were registered at an overseas partner organisation, followed by collaborative provision (24.7%), distance, flexible and distributed learning (18.1%) and overseas campus (4.3%). Students studying through collaborative provision experienced the greatest proportional growth from 2017–18 (10.9%).
  • 80.9% were studying at undergraduate level. The number of students studying at postgraduate level increased by 7.4% from 2014–15.
  • Three providers of distance, flexible and blended TNE together make up 49.6% of the total number of TNE students.
  • Excluding these providers:
  • 336,375 students were studying UK TNE programmes in 2018–19, an increase of 4,250 (1.3%) over the previous year. Student numbers grew by 33,620 (11.1%) from 2014–15.
  • 75 providers (54.0%) reported more than 1,000 students in TNE, compared to 66 (50.3%) in 2014–15.
  • 48.5% of students were studying through collaborative provision, followed by distance, flexible and distributed learning (21.3%), registered at an overseas partner organisation (19.9%) and at an overseas campus (8.6%).
  • Students studying through collaborative provision experienced the greatest proportional growth from 2017–18 (11.0%).
  • 65.5% were studying at undergraduate level. The number of students studying at postgraduate level increased by 10.3% from 2014–15.

You can download this year's report here. hr


You can view last year's report here


UUKi's transnational education conference 2021: informed innovation will be held in February. You can view details of the event and book here


Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International said

'At a time when travelling across the world to enrol in a degree programme has been thrown into question, it is fantastic to see more UK institutions delivering UK transnational education than ever before. At UUKi, we're passionate about opening up UK higher education opportunities to those outside the UK, and the proportional increase seen in collaborative provision is reflective of the strong links UK universities continue to foster with international partners.

We look forward to exploring these trends at UUKi's transnational education conference 2021: informed innovation, in February.'




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