The network, which has initial membership of 17 universities from across the UK, has been designed to bring together 27 campuses located in 17 countries across the globe.
It will be co-chaired by the University of Nottingham and Newcastle University, with support from UUKi.
“This will be a huge UK resource,” said Davies during the conference. “With 50,000-100,000 students studying at these campuses around the world… if you add them together it’s almost like creating two new British universities.”
The main drivers of the network are to help increase understanding and awareness of the “potential role” of overseas campuses at the member universities, in addition to both the UK government and those in countries where the campuses are situated.
It also seeks to create a platform for institutions, policy makers and partners to discuss and consider the future of the campuses further, as well as making it as “easy as possible for students and staff” to transfer between campuses in the UK and overseas.
“We don’t want this to just include teaching operations, but also vibrant research facilities that increase our capability to do transnational education,” Davies added.
Director of UUKi, Vivienne Stern, said it will work with member universities to ensure the benefits of branch campuses is “understood, disseminated and supported”.
“UK overseas campuses are a success story… far from the image of a ‘branch’ of a UK institution, these campuses have become an integral part of the higher education communities in the territories where they are hosted,” she said.
“It is a rich array of universities that can see value in working together”
Davies was also keen to stress the member universities of the network were a diverse range of institutions across the U, including pre 1992 and post 1992 universities and Russell Group and non-RG members.
“It is a rich array of universities that can see value in working together to understand how we can develop our overseas presence,” he said.
“We want to make it such that we are looking after our staff and students and help them really feel that they can have a global impact.”
The UK’s international education champion Steve Smith added that it “is increasingly clear that a high-quality campus experience remains a priority for students right across the world”.
“I am delighted to see the creation of this new Network and look forward to working collectively with its members on the challenges and opportunity that will define the future of British overseas campuses in the years to come,” he said.