Friday 18 March 2016


The first ever UK-China Education Policy Week concluded on Friday 18 March, with the announcement of a statement of principles that will inform transnational education programmes between both countries. 

The UK-China Education Policy Week involved discussions between nearly 100 education experts from the UK and China across a range of disciplines – from higher education and vocational education, to industry collaboration and graduate employability. It concluded with the announcement of the Beijing Statement - shared principles for quality assurance in UK-China transnational education programmes.

The statement of principles will inform both countries’ collaboration in transnational education programmes. The principles include developing regular channels of communication to support sharing of data and information, exploring ways to enhance inter-agency cooperation, and recognising the importance of sharing best practice and experience. All participant parties commit to following these agreed principles when establishing transnational education programmes.

The statement was jointly developed by the British Council, the China Education International Exchange Association, the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, and the UK Higher Education International Unit, in consultation with the sector.

The announcement was made at a workshop jointly organised by the British Council and the China Education International Exchange Association with support from the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Chinese Ministry of Education. 

Notes to Editor



A Statement of Principles for Quality Assurance of UK-China Transnational Education


Based on shared interest and commitment to enhancing the quality and safeguarding the standards of UK-China Transnational Education (TNE), and a partnership approach to external quality assurance, representatives from both the UK and China agreed this ‘Statement of Principles’ on the occasion of the Quality Assurance for UK-China Transnational Education conference, held in Beijing on 18th March 2016.

This document is not legally binding on any of the parties that contributed to the conference. It does mark a commitment to cooperation and collaboration on both sides, and to deepen and strengthen partnership in quality assurance of transnational education.


All parties recognise that UK-China Transnational Education:

 Is integral to positive education relations, academic and student exchange, national and regional development between and within the two countries;

 Is most successful and sustainable when structured for mutual benefit;

 Benefits from continuing co-operation at institutional and national levels to enhance quality assurance;

 Encourages and develops excellence and innovation in teaching and learning within individual institutions and across partnerships.

Quality Assurance

All parties agree this statement in the spirit of the joint-working and “collaboration in quality assurance for transnational education” expressed through the 2015 UK - China Partners in Education Framework.

1. We believe that transnational education is a critical element of higher education, nurturing talent, creativity and productivity. Sharing best practice and experience on quality assurance between the UK and China delivers a valuable contribution to a strong higher education relationship.

2. We recognise that the primary responsibility for enhancing the quality and safeguarding the standards of transnational education lies with individual institutions and programmes.

3. We agree that national and international policy dialogues and research should be encouraged, and are a key component of transnational education quality enhancement.

4. We agree that cooperation and collaboration at institutional and national level, and with quality assurance agencies, supports a transnational education system with increased opportunity for quality enhancement.

5. We recognise the potential for further data and information sharing, taking into account the differing legal duties of providers in their home and host countries, which can make a positive difference to the development of stronger quality assurance relationships and environment. These benefits are to the advantage of governments, higher education institutions, students, employers and others interested parties.

6. We believe that agencies involved in quality assurance, and other interested parties, should further develop regular UK-China channels of communication, facilitating future co-operation.

7. We commit to supporting efforts to strengthen cooperation in the quality assurance of UK-China transnational education.

The foregoing represents the understanding reached between the Participants on the occasion of the Quality Assurance for UK-China Transnational Education conference, held in Beijing on 18th March 2016.

This statement of principles is in both the English and Chinese languages, both texts having equal validity.

About the UK-China Education Policy Week 

The UK-China Education Policy Week is a week of education events in Beijing around the theme of excellence, employability and entrepreneurship, running from 14 to 19 March 2016. 

It is a follow-up to the 2015 UK-China People-to-People Dialogue and the 2015 UK-China Education Summit, and will help inform the education agenda for 2016 and the golden era of UK-China relations. It consists of a number of education policy events covering a wide range of topics, including transnational education, vocational education, student exchanges, graduate employability, and entrepreneurship. 

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For more information contact:

Nicola Norton, Senior Press Officer, British Council; T +44 (0)207 389 4889


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. 

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.