Calendar Year 2019

UK revenue from education related exports and transnational education activity

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Introduction

Estimates of UK revenue from education-related exports and transnational education (TNE) activity for 2019.

TNE activity includes education programmes that take place outside the UK, either through partner institutions, or directly through distance learning or international campuses.


Headline facts and figures - 2019

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Figure 1 below shows the increase in UK education related exports and TNE activity to £25.2 billion (current prices) in 2019. The revenue from UK education related exports and TNE activity has grown steadily since 2010. The overall revenue has increased by 58.8% or £9.3 billion in current prices since 2010. UK education related exports account for £8.2 billion of the £9.3 billion increase with UK TNE accounting for the remaining £1.1 billion. 

Since 2010, total UK education related exports have grown by 55.5% in current prices. TNE activity has grown at a significantly faster rate of 104.4% over the same period. However, this growth has occurred from a lower base.

Between 2018 and 2019 total UK education exports and TNE activity grew by 8.1%, It is 0.9 percentage points lower than the rate of growth seen between 2017 and 2018. This reflects the lower growth rate in total UK education related exports which grew by 8.3% between 2018 and 2019, compared to 10.1% in the previous year. However, UK TNE activity has grown by 6.3% between 2018 and 2019, despite having decreased by 0.8% in the previous year.

Figures 2a and 2b below show the composition of revenue streams in total UK education related exports and TNE activity in 2019. 

Higher Education was the main contributor with £17.6 billion of export revenue. In comparison, Further Education, which consists of non-EU students only, accounted for £0.3 billion (see methodology for further information on how this is calculated). 

The income generated from Education Products and Services and TNE activity is broadly similar, with around £2.2 billion of revenue generated, respectively. English Language Training and Independent Schools generated £1.8 billion and £1.0 billion, respectively.

Over the period 2010 to 2019, the share of Higher Education to the total revenue from UK education related exports and TNE activity has increased by 9.8 percentage points from 60.0% to 69.8%

UK TNE activity has increased by 2 percentage points over the same period from 6.7% to 8.7%. The share of English Language Training (ELT) and Further Education (non-EU students only) have both fallen by 6.7 and 4.5 percentage points, respectively; the ELT share dropping from 14.0% to 7.3% and the Further Education share dropping from 5.8% to 1.3%.

In 2019, international (EU and non-EU) Higher Education students at UK universities generated an estimated £15.8 billion in exports through living expenditure and tuition fees (£14.2 billion in 2018), which accounts for around 62.6% of the total value of education exports and TNE activity (60.9% in 2018).

The remaining £1.8 billion of exports revenue generated from Higher Education is made of research contracts and other exports income. 

Table 3 below gives a detailed breakdown of UK revenue from education related exports and TNE activity, within each revenue stream and since 2010.

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Methodology

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Experimental statistics

These statistics are experimental statistics undergoing evaluation. They have been developed under the guidance of the Head of Profession for Statistics and published to involve users and stakeholders at an early stage in assessing their suitability and quality.

Experimental official statistics have been produced as far as possible in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

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