The number of students from the Middle East coming to UK universities more than doubled between 2003-04 and 2012-13. As traffic from all other regions also rose, the total number of non-European Union students in the UK grew by 59 per cent, says a recent Universities UK report.
Other regions to register large rises in traffic to the UK in the period included non-EU Europe, up 77 per cent, and Asia, up 63 per cent, according to Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education.
Although numbers from the Middle East soared by 124 per cent over the nine years, the region still supplied less than 10 per cent of all non-EU students to UK institutions in 2012-13.
South America and Australasia had the least growth in traffic to the UK, up just 21 and 22 per cent respectively. Combined, the areas accounted for only 2 per cent of all non-EU students in 2012-13, says the report, released on 15 December.
Asia remained the biggest provider of foreign students to UK universities: 62 per cent of all international students originated there.