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ASEAN Knowledge Partnership: Showcasing UK transnational education in Malaysia

Senior ASEAN officials and UK educators attended a joint Prosperity and UKTI Study Tour of UK transnational education (TNE) in Malaysia.

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Officials from Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam leave enthused at the potential for an expansion of transnational education in their markets and better aware of what UK education has to offer. Representatives from Edinburgh Napier University, University of Glasgow, University of Stirling and Gateshead College value the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the UK higher education institutions that have already set up in Malaysia and leave more convinced of the market’s potential.

Malaysia is the top country for TNE provision of UK qualifications in the world, with around 58,000 students currently studying for UK qualifications in Malaysia. Five of the 25 UK university overseas branch campuses are based in Malaysia and more UK universities and higher education institutions are planning to set up a presence in the country. The purpose of the Study Tour was to showcase UK TNE and its benefits in order to encourage other countries in ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations) to open up their markets to worldclass UK institutions and promote the market opportunities in Malaysia.

The two day tour included visits to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) and EduCity in Johor. UNMC has over 4,000 students from Malaysia and 70 other countries at a purpose built campus outside of Kuala Lumpur. EduCity in Johor, next to Singapore, is an education hub shared by eight leading international universities including Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Southampton Malaysia and University of Reading Malaysia. Marlborough College Malaysia has also opened its first overseas school next door to EduCity.

The tour included presentations from key Malaysian Government officials who explained the policies and regulatory framework that had facilitated the development of the country’s vibrant TNE sector. Barriers to expansion of TNE in different ASEAN markets were discussed and solutions mooted. This provided an invaluable opportunity for UK institutions hosting and attending the tour to build links with Malaysian and other ASEAN government officials.

The Study Tour was funded by the FCO’s UK – AEAN Knowledge Partnership and was an excellent example of the Prosperity, UKTI and British Council networks in Southeast Asia working together to promote UK education in one of the world’s fastest growing regions.

As follow-up, a webinar for UK institutions interested to learn more about the Malaysian market and opportunities in the ASEAN region more broadly is being organised and bespoke study tours for those ASEAN partners unable to attend this time around or other interested markets can be set up on request.

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Published 20 March 2013