The UK offers world-class education, a global reputation and a strong presence in international markets. Our higher education institutions are amongst the most renowned and prestigious in the world. And our early years providers and schools provide international benchmarks for safeguarding and choice.

Renowned quality

We have some of the best-known schools and universities in the world. This is underpinned by the quality of our globally-recognised assessment system, from the early years foundation stage through to A levels. We are ranked first by international students for student experience across several measures (International Student Barometer 2017).

Connecting the world through English language

English is the dominant global language and is spoken by around a quarter of the world’s population as the primary language for international business, science and academia.

Emerging and developed economies recognise the important role that the English language plays in national development, with it contributing to employability, economic development and global connectivity.

Global collaboration

Our approach to international engagement is based on partnership - we work with UK education sector providers, UK global industry, and governments around the globe to meet the opportunities and challenges of the modern world by sharing knowledge, skills and innovation.


Almost 25%

of Europe’s education technology companies based in the UK in 2019, making us the European leaders


universities in the world’s top 100

QS World University Rankings 2020


universities in the world’s top 10

QS World University Rankings 2020

Over 50

serving world leaders have benefited from a British education

The Higher Education Policy Institute 2018

Almost £20bn

generated in 2016 from education-related exports


largest group of international higher education students in the world hosted by the UK

International Education Strategy 2019

Welcoming international students

The UK will continue to develop an increasingly competitive offer for international students. This includes extending the post-study leave period, considering where the visa process could be improved, supporting employment, and ensuring existing and prospective students continue to feel welcome.

Recognising mutual benefits

International students make an invaluable contribution to British society, bringing with them new knowledge, cross-cultural understanding and global friendships, enriching the education experience of domestic students.

Increasing international student numbers

For higher education alone, the UK hosted almost 460,000 international students from 2017 to 2018. We want to grow the numbers of international higher education students studying in the UK to 600,000 by 2030.

A place for international students to stay

We have seen students who come to the UK to study stay on as graduate innovators, setting up enterprises such as language training in London, catering services in Newcastle and business support technology in Glasgow.

Exporting education expertise to China

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) identified strong demand from China for quality British educational products and services. This market is worth $500 billion, with $677 million spent on EdTech each year. Working closely with DIT and DfE, BESA ran a dedicated ministerial trade mission for EdTech companies to Beijing and Shanghai in 2016. BESA has taken companies back over 10 times. A highlight in 2018 was a ‘Great British Classroom’ showcasing the best of British digital resources to Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese hosts during her visit. BESA has since signed Memorandums of Understanding with key Chinese partners, opening doors to future collaboration.

Next steps

Whether you’re looking for a supplier or starting a business in the UK, we can help. Get in touch with us for simple, straightforward help and advice on how to do business in the UK.