Skip to main content

Where do HE students come from?: Transnational education

HE Student Data Where do HE students come from?

On this page: Transnational education by HE provider

Back to Where do HE students come from?

The table below shows information from the HESA Aggregate offshore record, capturing students studying wholly outside the UK who are either registered with a UK HE provider or who are studying for an award of a UK HE provider. Notable changes to the record from 2019/20 mean this data should be interpreted with caution.

In 2018/19 and earlier years, the Aggregate offshore record included all publicly funded HE providers in the UK and the University of Buckingham. From 2019/20, coverage expanded to include all English providers registered with the Office for Students’ (OfS) in the Approved (fee cap) and Approved categories and all publicly funded HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Oxford Brookes changed their reporting practices for the 2019/20 academic year around which students they include in their Aggregate Offshore return. This led to a significant drop to the overall number of student enrolments based wholly overseas.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation in March 2020, just over half way through the 2019/20 academic year. An insight brief has been published that analyses the impact of the pandemic on student data and trends across years of enrolments and qualifications across various characteristics. There are two known areas in which the pandemic has had some impact:

  • There is evidence to suggest that among a few providers, administrative hold-ups related to the pandemic resulted in significant numbers of qualifications awarded in 2019/20 not being reported. The impact of this under-reporting is believed to explain some of the 3% decrease in the number of qualifications achieved in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19, and the impact is most noticeable on the number of part-time qualifications awarded. Qualifications that were not reported in the 2019/20 academic year have carried over to 2020/21 and contributed to the 9% increase in the number of qualifications awarded in 2020/21.
  • In relation to classifications of first degrees and other awards, many providers issued public statements that a 'no detriment' approach would be adopted when it came to assessment in 2019/20. This typically ensured that students would be awarded a final grade no lower than the most recent provider assessment of their attainment.

The 2019/20 to 2021/22 data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exceptional guidance was issued to HE providers regarding a number of data fields within the collections to clarify HESA's expectations about how these fields should be treated in light of the pandemic.

Transnational education by HE provider

This table looks at students who study for awards or courses of UK universities, but study overseas without coming to the UK. These students are counted separately from the HESA Student record population. See the Aggregate offshore definitions for more information.

Table 21 - Aggregate offshore students by HE provider and level of study

Academic years 2014/15 to 2021/22

 This is a large table and will take a moment to load...

Back to Where do HE students come from?

Where do HE students come from?
open-data   Open data licence: CC-BY-4.0

HE Student Data pages

Support and contacts

Press enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 6), [email protected]

Public enquiries

+44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 2), [email protected]

Please email questions or comments to [email protected].
Thank you for helping us to improve this publication.

For Tailored Datasets visit Jisc's data analytics directorate:

Jisc - Data and analytics