They are among the findings of research published by the British Council and the German Academic Exchange Service on TNE, the delivery of higher education programmes in a different country from the one where the overseeing institution is based.
According to a recent data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, there are now more international students taking degrees offered by English universities in their home country than there are studying in England - with 545,000 students registered on TNE courses in 2012-13.
TNE is viewed by students as a way of developing their professional skills and furthering their careers, according to the research, with 72 per cent believing such programmes offer good value for money, despite often costing more than local alternatives.
Impacts of transnational education on host countries: academic, cultural, economic and skills impacts and implications of programme and provider mobility, also says TNE is viewed as an affordable alternative to full-time study abroad, and regarded as an opportunity to gain a more international outlook.
However, the report found a surprising lack of awareness of TNE courses within host countries, with only 39 per cent of non-TNE students aware that such programmes exist, along with less than half (46 per cent) of non-TNE academics.
“One of the most striking findings in the study is that, overall, respondents did not believe that the negative features or potential risks of TNE were important or applicable, the exception being the high cost of TNE programmes compared with local programmes,” said Kevin Van Cauter, Higher Education Advisor at the British Council.
“What has come out is that survey respondents believe that TNE is providing increased access to higher education for local students and contributing to improvement of the overall quality of higher education provision.”
To listen to a podcast about the report, which was published at the British Council’s Going Global conference in Miami last month, click here.