Understanding the TNHE market in China: factors influencing the expanding of sino-foreign cooperative education


Transnational higher education (TNHE) expands rapidly with the idea of imported wisdom in many Asian countries. As a major player, China developed TNHE in the framework of ‘Sino-Foreign Cooperative Education (SFCE)’, which only allows the programs to be delivered by partnership. This e-poster debates the social and economic foundation behind the development of SFCE. Based on data released by the Ministry of Education, the e-poster offers a descriptive analysis of SFCE’s demographic information and historical student scale.

The analysis was conducted on the panel data of 30 provinces (2004–14) obtained from the extant literature. A fixed effects model was used to analyse the influencing factors of the development of SFCE. It found that per capita GDP and local higher education development priority had a significant positive impact on the local expansion of SFCE, while the quality and quantity of regional higher education development had a significant negative effect. 

Take-home message:

With the scarcity of data in TNHE research, this quantitative research gives participants an objective introduction to the historical expansion of TNHE in China and examines the hypothesis put forward by the existing literature.

With the findings of the research, government officers may know how to better attract foreign quality education resources and investors may have a better knowledge about TNHE in China. The research outcomes may also be of interest to countries where there is significant growth in TNHE.

Key interest area: Transnational education (TNE) 
Other key interest areas: Higher Education (HE), Marketing and recruitment (M&R)

Mr Pengfei Pan

Queensland University of Technology

Pengfei Pan is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, under the supervision of Michael Mu, Carol Nicoll PSM and Karen Dooley. Pengfei graduating from Beijing Normal University and started his PhD journey in September 2017. He has rich experience in many research projects and acting as a teaching assistant and tutor. His research interest lies in the internationalisation of higher education and cross-border education. The proposed title for his thesis is ‘A sociological study of Australian universities’ engagement in offshore higher education programs in China’.