Going global: How can educational institutions embrace UK-India TNE in 2022?

In 2016, David Cameron and Narendra Modi announced the ‘UK-India Year of Education, Research, and Innovation’. Since 2016, the demand for more transnational collaboration between the UK and India has only grown, and the Indian government in particular is keen to strengthen the existing relationship between the UK and India as it relates to education.

In this article, we will explore the demand for transnational education between India and the UK, the opportunities that exist in this region, and how educational institutions can boost their revenue by investing more in transnational education with India and other nations.

India: A growing economy in education

The demand for higher education in India is currently far exceeding the supply, in part because of India’s demographics. India boasts the world’s largest university-age cohort, with over 37.4 million students enrolled in higher education courses. As India’s population expands, so too will this figure.

While India’s government tries to increase the capacity for learning closer to home, countries around the world should be taking note of this demographic. For educational institutions in the UK and Europe, India’s population offers a source of talented, enthusiastic youngsters keen to secure places at internationally-renowned universities in both India and abroad.

In the UK, international students make up a significant proportion of most university student bodies, but transnational education opportunities, including branch campuses and distance learning, offer a further way for other nations to work together with India to ease the country’s demand for education while simultaneously benefitting from an additional revenue stream. At the moment, the Indian government is actively encouraging foreign universities to set up campuses in India.

How significant is the impact of revenue from TNE in the UK?

Different models of transnational education offer educational institutions an effective way to increase revenue and diversify income streams. First of all, it’s worth noting that offering home students ample opportunities to study abroad or learn from overseas providers, especially in courses like languages and international relations, is a simple way that universities can add value to their offerings and attract higher-quality students, which in turn will boost revenue from tuition fees.

As well as this, TNE offers its own revenue streams. UK government statistics from 2020 demonstrate the variety of revenue streams that transnational education offers from branch campuses, distance learning, and joint degree programmes abroad. In 2019, TNE activity in the UK brought in £25.2 billion in revenue, which reflected an 8.1% growth in activity on the previous year.

And yet, despite this growing economy, it’s clear that there’s still plenty of room for growth in the UK-India TNE education market. UK university stats reveal that in the 2019-20 academic year, 8,510 students in India studied under UK TNE programmes, which is a far cry from China’s 49,800 students in the same year.

How can providers take advantage of UK-India opportunities for TNE?

The onus, really, is on educational institutions in both the UK and India to identify this opportunity for collaborative learning and take steps to embrace it. The statistics from Universities UK above show the huge discrepancy between the UK’s top three providers of transnational education and other universities, as well as the range of TNE models that are available to providers.

It’s possible that one of the reasons why many UK universities are hesitant to collaborate with Indian universities is quality; currently, just three Indian universities feature in the QS World University Rankings top 200, compared to 26 universities in the UK.

Setting up a branch campus in India isn’t always practical, the growing popularity of online learning that has been kickstarted by the pandemic is perhaps good news for educational institutions keen to invest further in TNE. Distance learning makes up a significant proportion of UK revenue from TNE, and it’s also a convenient and affordable way to make international education a real possibility for all students around the world.

How Seamless can help

At Seamless, we have developed a system that can help schools and students in both the UK and India to collaborate in mutually beneficial partnerships that foster multicultural learning between our two nations. The TNE Matchmaker pairs universities and colleges looking for similar transnational educational opportunities to enable students from all backgrounds to enjoy a life-changing international education that’s also convenient and affordable.

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