Non-EU students up 3 per cent

Thursday 15 January 2015

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) released today the figures for higher education student enrolments and qualifications obtained at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2013/14.  

Gordon Slaven, the British Council’s Director of Higher Education, commented:

“It is very pleasing that the overall figures for non-EU students coming to the UK has increased by three per cent. But this headline figure does disguise one worrying trend: the decrease of students coming from India by 12 per cent and Pakistan by seven per cent, while demographic trends suggest these should be sources of growth for the UK. While the UK sector can be pleased that the overall numbers have increased, our competitor countries such as the USA and Australia, have shown much more significant increases. This highlights the need for the UK to take a much more proactive and united approach to attracting highly talented students from around the world to reduce the risk of losing our share of the international student market.

“There is now increasing international student mobility and choice for prospective students. International students to the USA increased by eight per cent in 13/14 to unprecedented heights; the comparable year for Australia saw their international student numbers stabilise, and new enrolments increase by 7.5 per cent (and in fact latest data suggest that 2014 figures will show around eight per cent growth in total international HE student numbers); Canada reported an 11 per cent growth in student visas in 2014; and China is expected to be hosting 500,000 international students by 2016.” Mr Slaven said.