According to recent statistics, international applications to UK universities are expected to increase by nearly 50% over the next five years. The figures may surprise after recent reports suggest that the number of students admitted to Oxford University from EU countries has halved in the past five years, according to the annual admissions report of the University, which further suggests that the drop was expected as a result of Brexit. .
But recent figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) suggest otherwise, with the service predicting applications will rise 46% to 208,500 by 2026.
The survey was conducted among 1,200 students from 116 countries who are considering studying abroad, which revealed startling statistics.
Some students have praised the NHS and the English language as factors in choosing to study in the UK.
UCAS’ new report – titled Where Next? What influences the choices international students make? – shows that during the pandemic, 88% of students viewed the UK as a positive or very positive place to study, with 77% applying because of the country’s strong academic reputation.
Students gave a variety of reasons for wanting to study in the UK, with 80% of Nigerian students wanting to learn skills that would help them in their careers, while 75% of Indian students wanted a ‘better quality’ university.
It was also found that students are five times more likely to say that getting a job in their destination country is their top priority, with two-thirds of international students planning to self-fund their studies.
Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS, said: “International students are showing extraordinary resilience – the universal appeal of living and studying in another country continues.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, international students have pursued the opportunities available to them and we anticipate a steady growth in interest in studying in the UK which will continue over the next decade.
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“Findings from this joint research with the College Board focus on the mindset of international students and what they expect from their higher education experience.
“To continue to inspire and help international students cross borders, the global higher education community should personalize applicants’ experiences, using information relevant and useful for specific countries to share the exceptional opportunities available. “
Linda Liu, the College Board’s international vice president, added, “As we stand on the precipice of global reopening, these results reaffirm the desire of so many students to study in another country.”
“We see this desire manifest in our programs at the College Board, from the many students who want to send their SAT scores to universities outside their home country to the record number of students taking AP (Advanced Placement) exams outside the United States. .”
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But other figures from UCAS countered this, with data revealing that just 31,670 EU students applied in the 2020-2021 period, 50% less than before Brexit.
However, this figure could be due to a number of circumstances surrounding this period, including the global pandemic which has left many students in lockdown.
University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said “the drop was expected due to the change in fee regime caused by Brexit, but it is sharp”.
The university’s report also revealed that the number of admissions from the EU had halved, from eight percent of the total number of students to four percent.
The proportion of British students increased slightly to 82%, compared to an average of 73% for the Russell group.