Thursday 23 May 2013

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.”

Notes to Editor

The ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report May 2013 can be accessed here:

The British Council’s research, The Shape of Things to Come: Higher education global trends and emerging opportunities to 2020, shows that within the next decade nearly 30,000 more international students can be expected to join university courses in the UK – more than its greatest higher education competitor the United States – as Britain benefits from its links with rapidly growing countries, particularly India. The report can be accessed here:

For more information, please contact Tim Sowula, Snr Press Officer, on 0207 389 4871 or 07771 718 135

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

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