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New report: UK can boost global education amid migration crackdowns

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The latest report from The International Higher Education Commission (IHEC) brings new insights into the significant potential of Transnational Education (TNE) to address many of the challenges faced globally by universities and students. TNE, in which the UK has a leadership position globally, allows students to access world class education without moving to another country.

The report comes at a time when the role of overseas students in Higher Education is increasingly a focus on governments in the big four overseas student recruiting countries. The UK government has recently student visa policies and is further reviewing its migration policies. Australia is also adjusting its Visa rules for international students to achieve an annual migration target of 250,000. In Canada, starting January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants will also increase for international students.

The report urges UK universities to better utilise TNE programs to meet rapidly growing global needs – HolonIQ predicts a 30% growth in tertiary education over the next decade globally. With over 550,000 students enrolled in 162 UK universities across 230 countries, the UK has a substantial base on which to enhance program capacity even further and diversify engagement so the base is broader than the four countries that currently account for half of UK recruitment to the UK (China, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.)

The Commission Chairman Chris Skidmore MP said:

“If we stand still and fail to embrace the opportunities TNE presents, then the UK will miss the opportunity to be an international leader in TNE. While TNE demonstrates substantial growth, the challenges in scaling up impede the full realisation of its potential. Addressing this gap will necessitate a series of significant and substantive measures to truly ‘move the needle’ and unlock the true power of TNE on a global scale.”

Co-author of the report David Pilsbury, Chief Development Officer at Oxford International Education Group and Secretary to the Commission said:

“It is increasingly evident that TNE is not only a viable, but a crucial offering for nations witnessing a rapid rise in the number of ambitious young minds seeking access to world-class education. The global landscape of education is evolving, and TNE emerges as a strategic response to meet the diverse needs of higher education institutions in their quest for excellence and inclusivity.”

The full IHEC TNE report is available here.

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