To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with UK universities about the provision of university courses in countries where they have concerns about (1) governance, or (2) human rights, in those countries.
10 March 2021
The UK is one of the world’s major providers of trans-national education. As autonomous institutions, universities make their own decisions about education provision overseas and are responsible for ensuring their partnerships are managed appropriately with the right due diligence in place.
Relevant government departments, including the Department for International Trade, the Department for Education, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, regularly engage with the university sector to support higher education institutions when establishing trans-national education programmes, including working with the British Council to provide advice in particular contexts. If any provider has concerns, we encourage them to contact the government.
We are pleased to see that Universities UK is working on behalf of the sector, and with government support, further to inform the sector about the importance of appropriate risk management in its international endeavours. Its recent publication, ‘Managing Risks in Internationalisation: Security-related issues’, includes specific guidance on delivering educational programmes overseas and can be accessed here: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/managing-risks-in-internationalisation.aspx.