In view of the growing trend of students choosing to live in their own countries but enrolling for UK qualifications, the David Cameron government today launched a major initiative to boost growth in this sector of higher education.
In the highly competitive international education sector, higher education officials said that during the academic year 2010-11, there were 8,340 students living and studying in India who were enrolled at UK institutions for higher education qualifications.
Every year, thousands of self-financing Indian students arrive in the UK to study at various universities and institutions, but increasingly, more students are preferring to stay on in India and enrol on UK courses delivered in India, thereby reducing the cost considerably.
Called 'transnational education' (TNE), this section of UK's higher education has been growing exponentially, with students choosing to live in their own countries, partly due to tighter student visa norms and the forthcoming closure of the Post-Study Work (PSW) visa.
Foreign Secretary William Hague and Universities and Minister David Willetts are launching a new gateway for UK higher education institutions, called the HE Global Integrated Advisory Service.
It will bring together international education advice and services from both UK government departments and partners into one central resource.
Overall, the number of people studying overseas for a complete British higher education qualification rose by 23 per cent last year and now equates to one-sixth of all students taking UK awards.
According to official figures, 503,795 students at British institutions "studied wholly overseas" in 2010-11, up sharply from 408,685 in 2009-10 and 388,135 in 2008-09.
A Foreign Office release said: "The UK is one of the leaders in the provision of transnational education (TNE); the delivery of UK degree programmes, modules, training and other types of education at international locations, but it is a highly competitive market in an increasingly crowded global higher education market place".
HE Global will comprise a website, email and telephone helpline which will provide a single point of contact for UK universities looking to expand abroad through Transnational Education (TNE).
Foreign Secretary William Hague said: ¿The higher education industry export market is hugely important to the UK economy.
By creating HE Global we are ensuring that UK institutions which wish to build international relationships and provide their expertise abroad have easy access to the best intelligence and assistance to enable them to significantly increase the value of international education over the next decade.
Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts said: "Higher education in the UK is world class; this is illustrated by the fact that we have three of the top ten and 32 of the top 200 ranked universities in the world, located right here in the UK."
The HE Global service will ensure that our universities continue to be market-leaders providing high quality teaching and research world-wide."