More students are being educated abroad by UK universities.
The University of Essex saw the largest increase of all providers with at least 100 students, as it more than trebled its intake year-on-year from 315 to 1,085.
The university said this growth was due to the launch of its partnership with Aegean Omiros College in Greece.
More students are being educated abroad by UK universities, new figures reveal, although a majority of these are enrolled at just over a dozen institutions.
Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show 532,460 transnational education (TNE) students were registered at UK institutions in 2021-22 – a 9 per cent rise on the year before, and about 100,000 more than in 2019-20.
Transnational education (TNE) is education delivered in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based. UK HE TNE refers to UK degree programmes delivered outside of the UK.
Many students have turned to distance learning because of Covid-19’s local blockades, Lil Bremermann-Richard, managing director of the Oxford International Group, told Times Higher Education.
Others may have been reluctant to travel too far from home.
“Similarly, universities found themselves in a situation where they couldn’t reach out to students or welcome students for a long period of time, so enhancing locally delivered programmes is a way of protecting presence in that market,” Ms Bremermann-Richard said.
Ms Bremermann-Richard said universities like these have put in “tremendous effort and resources and now are delivering TNE at scale”.
“This is going to be, long term, very rewarding for the university, the local communities they are impacting and the UK opportunities for trade and diplomacy with those countries,” she added.
“TNE can help to tackle global challenges, as well as playing an important role for participating countries by supporting capacity-building and addressing labour market needs,” a spokesperson added.
The figures also showed that almost a third of TNE students nationwide were enrolled in postgraduate programmes – the highest proportion ever recorded and double the figure recorded six years earlier.
According to Ms Bremermann-Richard, this was partly due to the “sharp rise of the new middle and upper-middle classes in emerging economies”, which brought greater purchasing power.
Finally, the figures showed a general shift towards online forms of education delivery, as well as a growing demand for certification seminars and courses tailored to the needs of the labour market.