Tuesday 30 October 2018


The UK is entering a new era of collaboration with East Asian countries says the British Council, as it announces a new advisory group for transnational education (TNE) in the region.

The move was welcomed by over 50 agencies and institutional representatives at the first ever forum to bring together UK and East Asia TNE authorities and practitioners in Kuala Lumpur on 22 October.

The UK-East Asia (EA) Advisory Group will drive forward British Council TNE activities in East Asia to ensure the best possible outcomes for students.

Alison Barrett, the British Council’s Director for Education and Society in East Asia, said:

"The UK and East Asia have a long history of successful education collaborations. We are committed to increasing international collaborations in TNE so that even more students in our countries can benefit from our excellent educational resources and quality partnerships.

“The setting up of the UK-EA TNE Advisory Group takes a multi-lateral approach to tackling key issues in transnational education. Through discussions with policy makers and practitioners we aim to identify ways we can work together to make a valuable contribution to higher education."  

East Asia accounts for over a third of all students in UK transnational education. More than 148,000 students were following a UK higher education programme in the 2016-17 academic year. According to Universities UK International, 84% of UK universities now deliver TNE to over 700,000 students worldwide, with this number having increased year on year since 2007/08.

Matt Durnin, Global Head of Research and Consultancy, British Council, explained that the role of transnational education is changing.  “It is shifting away from a relatively narrow focus on aiding mobility to the major study destinations. Instead, the next phase will be more focused on building longstanding presence in key markets. Regions that were once very outwardly focused will start to look inward at the economic and academic opportunities in their backyards.”

Fabrizio Trifiro, QAA’s international manager, told the Forum that the agency had also jointly developed and administered a UK TNE student satisfaction survey with authorities in Singapore and Dubai.

 “We hope to advance further inter-agency cooperation in other key locations in the region with the UK-Hong Kong experience as a possible model. The setting up of UK-East Asia TNE Advisory Group is an important and positive milestone in the UK's TNE collaborations and future with East Asian partners.” he said.

Notes to Editor

For more information contact nicola.norton@britishcouncil.org

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.