13th July 2015
Increasing numbers of students from overseas are studying at UK universities, new data has revealed. In fact, official figures from some of the UK’s leading institutions have shown that the number of foreign students has almost doubled since the 2005/06 academic year.
Mike Sewell, director of admissions for the Cambridge University, explains,
“We are part of a world that is much more networked and interconnected in the 21st century than we were once in the 20th century. More and more young people see themselves as citizens of the world and they look at the very best universities.”
This world view from today’s young people has resulted in increasing numbers of Chinese students attending UK universities in recent years, as well as plentiful students from France and Germany.
Of the Russell Group universities (the top 24 UK academic institutions), the University of Exeter has seen the biggest rise in foreign student numbers with an increase of 378%, from 685 foreign students just under a decade ago to 3,200 in the latest set of figures.
“Demand for accommodation from foreign students has definitely increased in recent years. We’ve found that students from overseas are looking for upscale accommodation in contemporary buildings with features like private gyms and on-site cinemas. They want the best and have the capital to pay for it.”
Indeed, studying in the UK is not cheap for students from other countries, who usually pay higher tuition fees than British students do. The two-tier cost of higher education in the UK means that the majority of overseas students who come here to study are not only academically gifted but also financially blessed.
Essentially, the figures demonstrate the reputation of the country’s higher education institutions around the globe: they are drawing intelligent, wealthy young people to build their future in the UK. As a multicultural country looking to build a bright, economically sound outlook with healthy global relationships, this is certainly no bad thing for the UK!
Recent analysis on the contribution of foreign students, undertaken by London First and PricewaterhouseCoopers, revealed a £2.3 billion addition to the British economy as a result of their presence.