A record 4,346 US students were registered on UK undergraduate degree courses in 2012-13, according to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which represents a 4 per cent rise when compared with the previous year.
It means that the number of Americans pursuing their first degree in the UK has risen by 28 per cent since 2008-09, and comes as figures from Ucas show an 8 per cent rise in US applicants for programmes starting in 2014-15.
A total of 2,933 US students have submitted almost 10,500 applications to UK universities for courses beginning in the next year.
Paul Smith, director of the British Council in the US, said that American students choosing a British undergraduate degree “have the benefit not only of an excellent education but also an international experience that will serve as a valuable asset to their future careers”.
Miko Brown, an American undergraduate student at University of St Andrews, added: “I thought a UK university would be the best fit for me, since I would be able to focus from the beginning on the subjects I am passionate about.”
Across all levels of study, including postgraduate, the number of US students attending universities in the UK was 16,233 last year – a rise of 13 per cent over the last four years. In England and Scotland specifically, the number has increased by 14 and 17 per cent respectively over the same period.
International students contributed an estimated £10.2 billion to the UK economy in tuition fees and living expenses in 2011-12, according Department for Business Innovation and Skills figures, with about 5 per cent of the UK’s non-EU student population coming from the US.
The top five UK institutions hosting US students are the University of St Andrew’s, the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, University College London and the University of Westminster.