Despite the pandemic’s evident diversion, the recently published Universities UK international data records show that there were already 538,615 international students at the universities of the United Kingdom in 2019.
From the said international student figure, there were 142,985 EU citizens and 395,630 non-EU citizens among them.
- According to international data from Universities UK, there were 538,615 international students registered in UK universities in 2019.
- The government of the UK set an ambitious aim of bringing 600,000 overseas students to the country by 2030 in its International Education Strategy.
- International students contribute 28.9 billion GBP per year to the value of foreign education in the UK for institutions and local communities.
It can be recalled that the UK government’s International Education Strategy, published in 2019, set what seemed to be an ambitious goal of attracting 600,000 international students to the country by 2030.
While this target has been represented as a 30 percent boost, that now appears to be far off the mark which is not the whole picture yet.
With 139,130 students studying in the UK in 2019-2020, Chinese students make up the largest cohort. China is followed by India with 52,545 students and the United States with 19,940.
Moreover, Italian and French students are the two largest EU cohorts.
According to English UK, which represents language schools, there were 508,614 international language students in the UK in 2019, spread out over 1,839,655 student weeks.
English UK’s figure equates to 41,810 full-time equivalent (FTE) students over the course of a 44-week academic year, or 35,377 FTE over 52 weeks.
Meanwhile, the Independent Schools Council reports 28,910 international students enrolled in independent schools in the UK in 2019.
The value of foreign education in the UK to institutions and local communities is gained from international students to the tune of 28.9 billion GBP per year.
International students who stay in the UK after graduation contribute much more, with many of them going on to start their own businesses.
Internationally, the constant rise in the number of new enrolments from China has mostly fueled growth in UK international student enrollment; however, there was a small pause in growth between 2011 and 2014.
With the exception of the United States and Singapore, most major sending countries experienced a drop in growth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years, India has experienced a resurgence in the number of students enrolling in the UK, with major increases of 35 percent in 2018-2019 and 97 percent in 2019-2020.
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