New Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures indicate an increase in the overall number of international students in the UK for the academic year 2017/18 though concerns over Brexit continue to take hold. A total of 458,490 international students were studying in UK universities in the academic year 2017/18, 247,685 of whom were newly enrolled – an increase of about 4% and 5% respectively in one year.
Here’s a closer look at the data, as reported by Financial Times.
Increasing International Interest
Led by a surge of students coming to the UK from China, overall non-EU first-year international students increased to 185,415 in 2017-2018 — a 7.6 percent jump from the previous academic year.
In addition to the 30 percent year-on-year spike in Chinese student enrollments to 76,425 , first-year enrollments from India saw a 10 percent bump, and recovered to 12,465 after years of sharp declines.
Indian students particularly valued the now-withdrawn right to work for a brief period in the UK after graduation. That change has not affected Chinese students, since the Chinese government, which funds study for most, had never permitted students to work for significant periods in the UK after graduation.
At the same time, new enrollments from EU countries fell very slightly — 1.2 percent — following steady years of growth since the cap on students at English universities was removed in 2014. The figures showed enrollments of new students from EU countries to 62,270.
This data also indicates a major financial boon to UK institutions, which can charge much more than their standard £9,250 annual tuition fees to non-EU students.