Greater efforts should be carried out to enhance the international competitiveness of United Kingdom’s higher education. It should encompass better post-study work opportunities; extensive promotion of UK as a study destination; improved understanding of the factors affecting demand, particularly at postgraduate level; and further comprehension of the links between TNE (transnational education) and onshore recruitment and of the opportunities provided by TNE to expand the influence of UK higher education in geographical terms.
Key higher education stakeholders, including higher education institutions, national agencies and government administrations will also have to collaborate to achieve the said objective; and identify strategic approaches carried out by some of its key competitors.
Key challenges affecting the UK’s international higher education engagement include the degree of uncertainty involving government policies. This is likely to influence the international students’ perceptions when considering some of the established English-speaking destination countries.
Three key aspects to take note of are the impact of Brexit and the shifting fee status of European Union students in the UK on EU student demand for study in the UK, the impact of United States President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and potential changes to the US Optional Practical Training visa; and fluctuation in currency and commodity prices, particularly oil that, among other things, influences some major overseas government sources of investment in scholarships for international study.
Further, there is an observed trend where there is now an increasing number of countries placing greater emphasis on the advancement of their own higher education institutions through the use of traditional sources of overseas scholarship fundings for students. While in some countries are attempting to advance their domestic capacity by adjusting policies to attract overseas providers of transnational education (TNE) in specialist subjects. This shift can possibly serve as an opportunity for the UK “given its leading position as a provider of TNE”. In other countries, amendments to the regulatory framework for TNE – becoming more liberal and supportive in some cases, more restrictive in others – influences UK amplification of TNE.
Despite the identified challenges, the UK still stands in benefiting from being provider of TNE. This is because TNE is the key determinant of engagement. It allows UK higher education institutions to be nested locally and to preserve the global relevance of their endeavor.
Source: University World News
Join us in the upcoming QS-APPLE 2018 from 21-23 November 2018 in Seoul, South Korea, as we discuss the topic on “Future Universities in the Asia-Pacific: The Changing Face of Higher Education”.