Common framework vital to realise potential of TNE

1 June 2015

Our new study warns that a common framework is vital for one of the fastest growing forms of international higher education to reach its full potential. 

Transnational education (TNE) allows for students to study with international universities while staying in their home country. Hundreds of universities around the world offer TNE with the UK a leading provider – approximately 80 per cent of UK universities offer some form of TNE. And all expectations are that TNE will continue to expand rapidly.

But a study by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has found that there are no effective standards for monitoring TNE internationally, so that governments, agencies and universities can keep an eye on student numbers, types of courses, and quality assurance arrangements.

Problems agreeing terminology and approaches to data collection and reporting prevents reliable data gathering. The study calls of a common TNE categorisation framework with buy-in at national government and international level.

Our Director of Education Professor Rebecca Hughes comments:

"TNE can play a vital role in addressing one of the most important challenges of the 21st century; how to provide enough of the high quality tertiary education that young people, businesses, and governments need and are demanding. We believe that TNE is expanding rapidly to meet that demand, but it’s also increasingly vital that providers and hosts agree a common means of collecting and categorising data to inform its future expansion and models of delivery. Without this the full benefits and potential impact of TNE cannot be judged; and UK, as the world’s current leading provider, needs to remain at the vanguard of evidence based internationalisation.”

This research was presented at our Going Global 2015 conference for leaders of higher and further education.

Read our full press release here.

Go to the research.