Overseas student total falls ‘for first time’ as Indian numbers collapse

The number of non-EU students at UK universities fell by 1 per cent last year, the first such decline ever recorded.

January 16, 2014

The fall in the number of students from outside the EU in 2012-13, revealed in Higher Education Statistics Agency figures published today, will heighten concerns among universities over the impact of the coalition government’s drive to cut immigration.

There was also a 25 per cent drop in the number of Indian first-year students starting courses in 2012-13, following on from a 32 per cent fall the previous year.

That means the number of Indian first-year students starting courses has halved in just two years, falling from 23,985 in 2010-11 to 12,280 in 2012-13.

Universities have warned that the government’s abolition of the post-study work visa was deterring students from coming to the UK, while currency exchange rates are also thought to now be a particular problem for Indians considering the UK.

India is the second largest source of non-EU students for British universities, behind China. By contrast, the number of Chinese first-year students starting courses in 2012-13 rose 6 per cent.

Until now, the number of non-EU students at UK universities had risen every single year since the Higher Education Statistics Agency began keeping records in 1994-95.

Universities have become accustomed to continual, significant rises in their income from full-fee non-EU students.

In 2009-10, the number of non-EU students at British universities rose by 12 per cent, and in 2010-11 by 6 per cent.

In 2011-12, the rise slowed to 1.5 per cent, followed by last year’s 1 per cent fall, from 302,680 to 299,970.

Non-EU students made up 13 per cent of the total student population at UK universities in 2012-13, according to the Hesa figures.

The fall in non-EU numbers was severest in the part-time category, where the fall was 19 per cent. Undergraduate numbers were down 2 per cent.

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest