University of Nottingham: Nottingham helps create new network for UK universities with overseas campuses

The University of Nottingham has helped create a new UK University Overseas Campuses Network, launched today at the Universities UK Transnational Education Conference.

Founded and co-chaired by Nottingham and Newcastle universities, with support from Universities UK International, the network brings together an initial membership of 17 British universities with 27 campuses located in 17 countries across the world. It represents institutions providing the best of a British education to over 60,000 students and employing upwards of 5,000 staff across their international campuses.

For more than 20 years, overseas campuses have exemplified the independence, ingenuity and pioneering spirit of British universities and the international competitive advantage it provides to the Higher Education sector and the UK more broadly.

The UK Government’s International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, welcomed the creation of the new Network: “The establishment of UK overseas campuses played a significant role in winning the UK higher education sector its global reputation for innovation and excellence in transnational education. Whilst the pandemic continues to reshape global higher education, it is increasingly clear that a high-quality campus experience remains a priority for students right across the world.”

I am delighted to see the creation of this new network and look forward to working collectively with its members on the challenges and opportunity that will define the future of British overseas campuses in the years to come.
Sir Steve Smith, UK Government International Education Champion
The creation of the University of Nottingham Malaysia in September 2000 is considered the first ever branch campus of a British university to be established outside of the UK, starting with a small cohort of 89 students in Kuala Lumpur. In 2005, the University relocated to 48-hectare campus in Semenyih, and grew to its present size of more than 650 staff and 5,200 students drawn from across the ASEAN region and beyond.

In 2004, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) became the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China. Run by the University of Nottingham in partnership with Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, a key player in the education sector in China, UNNC offers a UK standard of education and student experience to more than 9,000 students, from around 70 countries around the globe.

More than 900 members of staff from split across three academic faculties and professional services, work from its 144 acre campus in Ningbo, Zheijang province.

Vast benefits
The educational, diplomatic, economic, cultural and soft-power benefits of overseas campuses to the UK continue to be vast. At a time when the global flow of ideas, trade and knowledge has been impacted to an unprecedented degree by the pandemic, they represent an enormous opportunity for their institutions to continue to maintain an active, tangible presence in countries across the world.

The new network will help UK universities and policymakers explore these issues and shape a better understanding of the role, contribution and future potential of overseas campuses across the higher education sector and government.

Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International said: “UK overseas campuses are a success story. Over 30 UK universities have a physical presence overseas, hosting a growing number of students and local staff from a wide diversity of backgrounds. Far from the image of a ‘branch’ of a UK institution, these campuses have become an integral part of the higher education communities in the territories where they are hosted, receiving the support of local authorities, students and their families.”

We welcome the announcement of the new UK University Overseas Campuses Network and will work alongside our member universities to ensure the benefits of this form of transnational education are widely understood, disseminated and supported.
Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International
Its aims over the next year include working with the UK Government to identify barriers to trade affecting overseas campuses as well as the opportunity they provide the UK to build its reputation as a science and education superpower. The network will also be supporting mutual learning between UK universities with overseas campuses, helping facilitate better information and experience sharing between the sector.

The network’s members are: University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University, University of Kent, Lancaster University, Leicester De Montfort University, University of Liverpool, Middlesex University, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, Queen Mary University of London, Queen’s University of Belfast, University of Reading, University of Southampton, University of Westminster.