Dr Jo Beall, British Council Director Education and Society, said “The British Council notes with concern a further drop in sponsored student visa applications to the UK. Although it is positive to see a five per cent rise in applications to the UK’s universities, the huge falls of 46 per cent in applications to further education colleges and English language schools create a worrying picture. Many students use these courses as a step towards applying to our universities, so it presents a long-term risk if we diminish what was a big recruitment pool of students who had already chosen to study in the UK.
“A drop in genuine international students can only diminish the quality of the UK’s education sector. We believe that genuine international students make a tremendous academic and cultural contribution to our educational institutions and are also an important source of revenue. The British Council supports the promotion overseas of all our education and learning institutions, because it is in everyone’s best interests that students who want to experience a world-class education should first look to the UK.”