The Covid-19 crisis has brought the world to a standstill: countries have imposed travel bans and borders have closed. University campuses have shut down, face-to-face instruction has been suspended, and student mobility has come to a halt. As virtual learning becomes the new normal, the education sector across the world now faces an immense pressure to swiftly and efficiently adapt to these changes.

The impact of the crisis on international education and transnational education (TNE) has been unprecedented, raising questions such as:

  • How has the perception on and the significance of TNE changed, for better or worse? Will it have a greater appeal as a result of limited mobility, or will TNE development and delivery be more challenging moving forward?
  • How can the UK and East Asia continue to lead and innovate TNE partnerships throughout Covid-19 and beyond?
  • What should education leaders and higher education institutions in the UK and East Asia do to sustain quality delivery and a positive student experience?
  • Will TNE play an even bigger role in the internationalisation of education?
  • What can we learn from our experiences today to shape the future of TNE?

This forms part of British Council’s Education Futures initiative, a series of in-depth discussions on key topics of global implications for the international education industry. Our aim is to support the UK and East Asia’s strategic action planning and decision making, allowing the education sectors to better anticipate challenges, manage risks and respond to opportunities.

Think TNE is British Council East Asia’s flagship dialogue series on quality and excellence in transnational education. It comprises education policy events that cover a wide range of TNE topics such as quality assurance, student experience, academic and talent development, and employer engagement. Leading education experts in the UK and East Asia will be engaged discuss top priorities and challenges in the development and delivery of TNE.


  • To inform education practitioners in East Asia on actions taken by the UK education sector in response to the impact of Covid-19, and vice versa, allowing stakeholders to examine which plans and strategies are applicable to their contexts
  • To catalyse innovation in international education, further driving development of joint UK-East Asia TNE programmes
  • To encourage continuous strategic engagement and collaboration between TNE providers in the UK and East Asia during and post Covid-19


TNE experts - including policymakers, educators and leading practitioners from the UK and East Asia—will be invited to present and steer discussion.


  • TNE strategists and higher education experts from the UK and East Asia
  • TNE providers and practitioners
  • Representatives from higher education institutions

To register for this webinar series, please follow the drop down information below: - 

Theme 1: TNE - Governance Policy and Management in Uncertain Times

Date: Tuesday 19 May                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Time: 9.30-10.30am UK time


TNE policymakers, experts and practitioners from the UK and East Asia will share insights on responding to the current crisis and will highlight best practice in the development of joint programmes and institutes.

This session will address questions such as:

  • How has this time of uncertainty changed government priorities, policies and regulatory environment for TNE (e.g. TNE approval, degree recognition)?
  • What are the current biggest operational challenges in TNE? What implications are there for future TNE operations?
  • How will governance and management in TNE adapt to support increasing virtual connection?
  • How should East Asia and UK institutions plan in the short and long term for the future of their TNE partnerships? What governance considerations will the UK and local partners need to take to ensure sustainability of TNE?
  • How can TNE programmes be remodelled to withstand education disruptions?

Theme 2: TNE – Student Experience in a Post-Mobility Environment

Date: Friday 5 June                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Time: 9.30 - 10.30am UK time 

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Faced with a new generation of students with sophisticated demands and higher expectations, how would TNE policymakers and providers ensure positive student experience through virtual delivery and less face-to-face interactions with academics from universities?

This session will address questions such as:

  • How will virtual mobility look like for TNE? How does improving intercultural fluency look in a post-mobility context?
  • What approaches can help protect and optimise the positive experience and well-being of students?
  • In a post-mobility world, how do TNE providers continue to offer students quality learning experience and flexibility?
  • How would TNE providers continue ensure (1) greater access to learning resources, (2) stronger connections with employers and industry, (3) language learning opportunities, (4) enhanced academic integration with home campus?
  • How have restrictions on mobility affected the attractiveness of TNE? How can providers refine messaging for students to increase its appeal without relying on the benefits of outward mobility?

Theme 3: TNE - Academics and Faculties engagement

Date: Thursday 18 June                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Time: 9.30-10.30am UK time

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Current travel restrictions and the demand for online teaching have led to the grounding of flying faculties and staff. Institutions face increasing challenges, culturally and academically, in their efforts to sustain quality TNE delivery.

This session will address questions such as:


  • In terms of tools and skills of faculty members delivering TNE, how ready are TNE providers to pivot towards online delivery of their programmes?
  • What capacity building initiatives are needed by providers to ensure effectiveness of online delivery? How can East Asia learn from the UK which has been at the forefront of online education delivery?
  • How can we harness the digital space to promote virtual collaborations and closer integration between home and off-shore academics?
  • How would virtual interaction between academics and student look during and post Covid-19?

Theme 4: TNE – Directions of Travel

Date: Thursday 2 July

Time: 9.30-10.30am UK time

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In the wake of the current pandemic, TNE providers have rapidly adopted novel approaches to ensure continuity of programme delivery. As education systems across the world are left with no option but to adapt to these sudden changes, the rise of a global disruption has made education leaders realise the pressure to innovate and create systems that will be resilient to educational disruptions to come.

This session will address questions such as:

  • What is the role TNE will play in the internationalisation of education post Covid-19? What does the future of UK-East Asia TNE look like?
  • What can we learn from our experiences today to create a secure future for TNE and enable programmes and students to thrive?
  • How can TNE be made more resilient to future educational disruptions?