This conference provided a timely opportunity to 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 followed the publication of the 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.
Sessions focussed 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 also considered 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 came as the QAA publishes it’s country-by-country TNE review with a view to maintaining standards and improving the quality of provision - with early reviews looking at countries including Malaysia and Singapore, which remain the top host countries for TNE for the UK.
Attendees considered 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 was also discussion on the future for 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 was also discussed.