Tuesday 23 May 2017


In response to the lack of international standards for defining and monitoring Transnational Education (TNE), the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have launched a new framework and data collection guidelines to facilitate a better understanding of TNE on a global scale. The research was presented in London at the Going Global Conference.

Brenda McMahon, British Council Global Head of Higher Education said:

”During the past year, we have consulted with over 100 senior policy makers and higher education experts on four continents. We have built significant momentum and have moved beyond data collection to a wider debate about the impact of TNE and how different models can benefit host countries in different ways.”

 DAAD Secretary General Dr Dorothea Rüland said:

 “The report incorporates feedback, advice and shared knowledge from more than 35 countries and, is truly an international effort. Two years ago, the DAAD and the British Council called upon the international community to work together for a better understanding of TNE on a global scale so that governments, agencies and universities can keep an eye on student numbers, types of courses, and quality assurance arrangements. The framework and guidelines are a real milestone.”

The research suggests there is confusion around TNE terminology, with more than 40 different terms being used to describe international programme and provider mobility.

The implications are significant: the lack of a common understanding of the terms raises concerns related to appropriate quality assurance processes, qualification recognition procedures, registration of new providers or programmes, completion rates and the collection of programme level information and enrolment data.  The report authors call for a shared understanding and consistent use of TNE terms across countries.

This all points to a challenge that requires the attention of higher education and TNE stakeholders. The authors hope that the proposed common TNE Classification Framework is an important step towards developing such a practical and analytical framework.


Notes to Editor

The report Transnational Education – A Classification Framework and data collection guidelines for International Programme and Provider Mobility (IPPM), authored by John McNamara and Dr Jane Knight, was jointly commissioned by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It follows previous joint research leading to several reports since 2013 on the impact of TNE on host countries and the expectation and experiences of TNE students and on data collection systems on TNE.


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.