But the study by the British Council warns that quality assurance systems are not in place in many countries that host such activity.
The shape of things to come: The evolution of transnational education: data, definitions,opportunities and impacts analysis, released today, also judges which countries offer the best opportunities for universities looking to offer their programmes abroad.
Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates all have “well above average” prospects over the next two to three years.
Nepal and Sri Lanka are viewed least favourably, while Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Russia and Turkey were also judge to be below average in terms of the their suitability for new transnational education (TNE) ventures.
“Available data suggests that TNE is continuing to expand at a brisk pace; both in terms of scale — programmes and student enrolment — and scope — diversity of delivery modes and location of delivery,” the report says.
But only two thirds of countries that host TNE which were studied have specific quality assurance systems in place.
Data on the activities is still “woefully inadequate” and recognition of the qualifications offered is an “area of relative weakness”.
“In most countries, recognition is left to the discretion of employers and HE institutions,” it warns.
In 2011-12, UK universities had set up 1,395 TNE programmes abroad in addition to 73 overseas campuses, the report concludes after analysing available data.
In the same academic year Australia had set up 394 TNE programmes, while in 2012, German institutions were involved in some 200 double degrees with universities abroad.