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China approves 38 new TNE partnerships

China’s Ministry of Education has announced the latest batch of joint programs and institutes, including 36 joint degree programs with overseas universities at bachelor’s degree level and above, and two joint institutes offering an additional eight programs.

The new partnerships will start to recruit students in the 2019-20 academic year. Photo: Unsplash

The new partnerships will start to recruit students in the 2019-20 academic year

According to a market report from the British Council, the largest number of approvals came from the US with 16 joint programs and one joint institute, while four of the partnerships involved UK institutions, all at bachelor’s degree level.

The new partnerships will start to recruit students in the 2019-20 academic year.

“The large number of US partnerships…cements this country’s position as China’s leading TNE collaborator”

Engineering was revealed to make up the largest portion of approved programs, accounting for almost half the new approvals, explained author of the report, Xiaoxiao Liu.

However, one notable change, Liu added, was seven partnerships in the arts, including programs in visual media design, music, animation and environmental design.

The third most popular subject area was science, with four individual joint programs, while three new partnerships were been approved in finance-related subjects.

In an analysis, the British Council International Education Services’s Kevin Prest explained that overall, the volume of approvals was “fairly similar to previous rounds”, suggesting that the overall approval environment for TNE has not changed substantially.

However, he added that the approval of three programs in finance “contrasts with previous trends where this field was seen as oversupplied and it was difficult to receive approval for a new joint degree program”.

“It is not clear whether this represents a change in policy at the Ministry of Education,” Prest said in a statement.

By contrast, Prest continued, business and administration offered just two new programs in agricultural economic management and tourism management.

“The large number of US partnerships, which represented 39% of all approvals in the latest round, cements this country’s position as China’s leading TNE collaborator, having overtaken the UK last year,” said Prest.

“This may be a reaction to slower growth in direct student recruitment as a result of domestic policies in the US.”

Earlier in April, the MoE unveiled its policy points with regards to “opening education to the outside world” for 2019, central to which was education in China and the continued flow of outbound students.

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