Our institutional partnership projects support institutions to make new connections overseas that lead to collaboration on joint research projects or transnational education, improve teaching and learning and inspire systemic change, leading to improved outcomes for students.

Where partnerships already exist, we look to strengthen these, for example by: 

  • developing thematic activity to address host-country priority subjects or skills shortages for example in entrepreneurship or employability challenges
  • facilitating engagement with industry to make the partnerships more sustainable and to help to help embed system-wide change.

Our higher education staff, with their knowledge and experience of working on the ground, create and shape opportunities for transnational education (TNE) which establish collaboration between the UK sector and the countries that we work in. 

In countries where TNE is relatively new we invest funding to support its growth, in more mature markets we promote the UK’s offering and in more volatile markets we protect the UK’s brand and reputation, where the operating market is more volatile and there is increasing international competition. 

Our insights and analysis cover local market conditions, policies and practices in individual countries, as well as detailed analysis of global market conditions and trends such as TNE approval trends, geographical patterns and subject-saturation measures. 

The research which we conduct and commission ourselves on education systems across the globe supports institutions who are looking to establish connections and so further increases collaboration. 

By building research capacity of institutions around around the world, we increase the number of potential partners for global collaboration in research and contribute to the quality of research in pursuit of solutions to the world’s challenges. 

In some regions, we also establish communities of practice and alliances between UK and overseas partners for effective communication and sharing of learning in TNE. This includes providing workshops and case studies on management of successful partnerships, student and academic support, legal, tax and compliance issues, quality assurance and employer engagement.

How this works in practice


Between 2018 and 2020 we directly supported partnerships for 77 UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and 135 HEIs in China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Korea and Taiwan. These partnerships addressed issues such as research collaboration, TNE arrangements, faculty/student mobility, shared teaching and learning.

Ninety per cent of the partners wanted to improve their own institution’s knowledge and expertise in an academic area, 94 per cent wanted to address a specific institutional objective and 96 per cent were motivated by a wish to address global challenges.

In Egypt

A Newton-funded Institutional Links project has brought together researchers and stakeholders in the sector to advance capacity building in education, research and innovation. The collaboration resulted in the development and validation of three dual degree undergraduate programmes between University of East London and Ain Shams University (ASU) in the disciplines of Architecture and Environmental Architecture, Building Engineering, Computer Engineering and Software Systems. The Faculty of Engineering at ASU is now acknowledged as the first practical government college to facilitate a dual degree certificate to students from a UK university.

Consultancy services

We have specialist teams who can, on a commercial basis, support individual UK education institutions to navigate the rapidly evolving higher education landscape overseas and to identify and capitalize on opportunities. In some priority countries we provide expertise in: 

  • partner identification and profiling
  • marketing services such as digital campaigns, recruitment roadshows and publications
  • competitor profiling
  • subject demand and trend analysis
  • opportunity evaluation across partnerships.

Find out more about our consultancy services

Take a look at our current opportunities