International higher education forum 2021: keeping higher education global

13 Apr - 14 Apr 2021, 09:00 - 17:00


International higher education is at a crossroads, and the sector faces some of the greatest challenges it has ever seen.

Brexit, Covid-19, and the climate emergency are forcing us as a sector to review, and in some cases, reset, the way we do things. The pandemic in particular has both accelerated existing trends and halted well-intentioned plans while efforts are focused on recovery.

While the UK’s participation in EU-funded programmes such as Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ hangs in the balance, the sector is also facing questions over academic freedom, foreign interference and sustainable partnerships. Around the world, the UK’s competitor markets are facing challenges around troubling visa policies and border restrictions. 

In the face of these challenges, it might be tempting to dial back on international engagement and look inwards. However, international partnerships have been a vital part of the UK’s response to Covid-19, and will be a cornerstone of its recovery. At this crucial time in higher education, we, as a sector, cannot afford to lose our strategic and valuable partnerships across the world.

Why you should attend

IHEF 2021 will bring together government representatives and higher education professionals from around the world to engage on such issues. We will present a blended event with opportunities to join in person in London, or online from around the world, with networking opportunities for all. The in-person event will be subject to government guidelines. If we are unable to deliver the in-person event you will have the option of claiming a refund. We look forward to seeing you there!

Some of the issues we will be exploring include:

  • How does the sector’s Covid-19 recovery intertwine with sustainability ambitions? 
  • Is now the time to be increasing the reach of Transnational Education? 
  • How can we robustly defend international collaboration while keeping our eyes open to risks of interference?

Delegates will have the option of attending the event either in-person or virtually. Both options are priced the same and you can change your preference up until one month before the event.

Who should attend?

This conference will be useful for staff who have responsibility for developing international strategies across student recruitment, transnational education, research and mobility. Specific sessions will examine internationalisation at small and specialist institutions. Job titles of past attendees include:

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor (International)
  • Deputy Vice Principal/Director/Deputy Director of International/Europe/Recruitment
  • Head or Assistant Head of Global Partnerships/Projects
  • Director of Research Operations 
  • Director/Head of International Marketing & Student Recruitment
  • Regional Director
  • Head or Assistant Head of Study Abroad
  • Research Development Manager

If you have any questions about this or any other of our events, please contact us on or 07500 441505.

We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available at this event. Please contact Esther Dudley, Head of Events and Engagement for information, tel: 07500 441501; email:

If you want to stay up to date with our events, news, and publications, you can sign up for our newsletters here.

Coronavirus information

At the time of writing, UUK is planning to resume events and conferences in autumn 2020. We take the health and safety of our delegates, speakers and staff extremely seriously, and please note that all of our events will be run in line with government and public health advice, which we are constantly monitoring. Should this event be cancelled due to government advice, we will deliver the event online or endeavour to rearrange this event for a future date. You will also have the option for a refund.

 Sponsored by:

 Media partner:

Esther Dudley

Head of Events and Engagement
Universities UK


Supporting LGBT students studying overseas

10 March 2020
Stonewall's Emma Kosmin on steps universities can take to provide support for LGBT students studying overseas.

Brexit will impact the UK’s world-leading research – but only if we let it

14 October 2019
With the 31 October Brexit deadline looming, the threats it poses to the UK’s research capacity can still be resolved, writes Professor Hilary Pilkington.


New guidance can ensure universities protect and develop international partnerships

15 October 2020
Universities are today publishing guidelines to better safeguard themselves against security-related risks that can result from international collaborations.

Government must act now or risk losing European students for years to come

5 October 2020
​Prospective university students from Europe must be given assurances that they will be given every opportunity to study in the UK, following one of the biggest changes to international student recruitment in a generation.