A total of 453,390 students were studying on UK TNE program with 156 UK higher education providers, research by UUKi detailed.

The Scale of UK HE TNE report found that more UK providers are offering TNE courses than ever before. The 156 providers account for 82.9% of all UK higher education providers in the HESA student records delivering degree programs, and 17.9% of HESA alternative providers delivering programs.

“We are glad to see cross-government support for this form of education as shown in the International Education Strategy”

“A majority of UK universities now undertake some form of TNE and we are glad to see cross-government support for this form of education as shown in the International Education Strategy and international education initiatives in the devolved nations,” said Eduardo Ramos, head of Transnational Education at UUKi.

Within Asia, China accounted for 11% of the global TNE student total with 49,800, followed by Malaysia (49,375, 10.9%), and Sri Lanka (30,825, 6.8%).

The European Union hosted 16.5%, the Middle East 13.1%, Africa 10.7%, North America 5.1%, non-EU Europe 3.2%, Australasia 0.6% and South America 0.6%.

Within the top 20 countries for UK TNE, only three locations saw drops in 2019/20 compared to 2018/19.

With 27,700 TNE students, Singapore was down by 2.7%, Egypt’s 19,590 total was down 2.6% and Cyprus (EU) fell by 1.4% to 11,340 students.

The remaining 17 locations all saw increases in numbers, led by Nepal, up 42.4% to 7,230 students, Germany up 34.6% to 9,190 and Switzerland up 26.9% to 7,990.

The latest iteration of the report excludes Oxford Brookes University. In previous years, the institution, together with the Open University and University of London made up 49.6% of TNE numbers.

The third iteration of the report, in 2019, found that 139 high education providers in the UK were engaged in a form of TNE.

While delivery via overseas campuses increased by by 23.5% – rising from 25,335 in 2015/16 to 31,295 in 2019/20 – delivery through Collaborative provision, Distance, flexible and distributed learning, and Registered at overseas partner organisation all appear to be the favoured form of TNE provisions.

Over the five years, the number of providers offering Distance, flexible or distributed learning rose by 28 to hit 132 in 2019/20, and Collaborative provision increased by 15, reaching 96 providers.

Additionally, delivery via overseas campuses increased by six, with 25 providers offering transnational education through the provision in 2019/20.

A recent UUKi report found that 84% of TNE graduates in the United Arab Emirates expressed high or very high satisfaction with their teaching and learning experience, which the organisation said suggests that students may be attracted to the provision because of its quality and the career opportunities it opens.

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