By Marcus Leach

Foreign Secretary William Hague, joined by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts, have launched a new gateway for UK higher education institutions to build on their international success.

For the first time, the HE Global Integrated Advisory Service will bring together international education advice and services from both UK government departments and partners into one central resource.

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).

“The higher education industry export market is hugely important to the UK economy," Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

"By creating HEGlobal 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 the move will ensure the UK stays at the forefront of education.

“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," he said.

“The HE Global service will ensure that our universities continue to be market-leaders providing high quality teaching and research world-wide.”

HE Global aims to maintain and advance the UK’s position at the forefront of global TNE activities by providing:

· A better knowledge of foreign market opportunities;

· A clearer and coordinated view of services offered by government and project partners;

· A better understanding of foreign quality assurance and accrediting systems;

· Access to finance and insurances to reduce risk; and

· Access to key information to help HEIs assess risks and carry out due diligence before undertaking TNE activities.

The service has been designed to be responsive to the sector, therefore a series of roadshows and workshops are being held with key international staff across the UK, and in offices overseas, to gain feedback and discuss how the service can be enhanced further to better help them in developing their international education activities.

“HE Global will enable higher education institutions to strengthen institutional relationships through transnational education and provide the foundations for innovative and long-lasting partnerships,” Professor Colin Riordan, Chair, International UK Higher Education Unit commented.

HE Global Integrated Advisory Service has been developed by the UK HE International Unit and Universities UK, in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, UK Export Finance, the British Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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