Westminster Higher Education Forum

Priorities for UK transnational education - quality, partnerships and maintaining growth

Morning, Tuesday, 2nd April 2019

Court House, 7 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AF


This timely conference will examine the priorities for the UK transnational education (TNE) sector and challenges for ensuring its continued growth - with TNE expected to be an increasing focus of UK international trade going forward.

It follows the publication of Government’s International Education Strategy: global potential, global growth which committed the DfE and the DIT to working with the sector and the British Council to identify the overall value of TNE to the UK economy; work to resolve regulatory barriers for providers and produce specific country guides.   

Sessions focus on the key market opportunities for TNE provision - including partnership agreements and branch campuses - and the legal, logistical and quality assurance challenges for expansion.

Delegates will also consider the role of government in supporting universities to access new overseas markets following the publication of the Strategy - and to broker deals to further support the development of branch campuses.

In addition, the seminar comes as the QAA continues to review TNE on a country-by-country basis with a view to maintaining standards and improving the quality of provision - with recent reviews looking at countries including Malaysia and Singapore, which remain the top host countries for TNE for the UK.

Attendees will consider strategies for continuing to effectively maintain and increase partnerships in key target countries, and how varying relationships and forms of TNE can be promoted within host countries.

There will also be discussion on the future of UK TNE in Europe following Brexit, including how to continue to develop partnerships within the EU.

Sessions will also focus on the key challenges of developing branch campuses, including how to ensure quality assurance requirements are met and the reputational integrity of UK universities is maintained. We expect discussion on the role of technology in supporting quality of provision. The sensitivities of managing the impact of branch campuses on the local community and existing HE provision will also be discussed.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Fabrizio Trifirò

International Manager, Quality Assurance Agency

Eduardo Ramos

Head of Transnational Education, Universities UK International

Senior speaker confirmed from the Department for International Trade

Carolyn Campbell

Senior Consultant, Observatory on Borderless Higher Education


Esther Wilkinson

Head of International, Jisc

Professor John Marsh

Dean, University of Glasgow and University of Electronic Science and Technology China Joint School, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

Tom Rhodes,

former Head, International Partnerships, University of Sheffield and Education Consultant

Aisling Conboy

Higher Education Specialist, Education Team, Department for International Trade

John Bramwell

Senior Advisor Education, British Council

Dr David Pilsbury

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International Development), Coventry University

Tran Huong Ly

First Secretary and Education Counsellor, Representative of the Ministry of Education and Training Vietnam, Embassy of Vietnam

Glynne Stanfield

Partner, Eversheds Sutherland