International Students – Do They Feel Welcome?

International students have become increasingly important to the UK Economy, especially after the Tuition Fee price hike – with a massive drop of 50% for UK based part time students. International students (excluding the EU) made up 12% of all full-time Undergraduate entrants to English Higher Education providers in 2015/16.
The Government has recently been under fire for cracking down on international students remaining in Britain illegally – estimating that there were 100,000 students every year overstaying their visa- when this turned out to be only 4,600. So are International Students being made to feel welcome to come and study in the UK?
Data from SUMS Consulting and Reading University  suggest not. There were declines in the numbers of Undergraduate entrants to the UK from various countries – with India down by 2.8%, Nigeria down by 8.5%, Sri Lankan entrants are down a shattering 83% and numbers from Saudi have halved.
There was positive news from China however, with more than 15,000 students on Undergraduate courses in the academic year 2015/16, an increase of 2.5% on the previous year. Chinese students have also caused an increased the number of international students taking UK based Masters courses rising from 12% in 2007/8 to 26% in 2015/16.
Research has found that in 2014/15 international students paid an estimated £4.8 billion in fees to UK universities – which accounts for over 14% of total university income. A huge 88% (£4.2 billion) of this fee income was paid by students from outside the EU. Adding spending such as accommodation, travel, leisure activities etc. the amount generated annually by international students is £25.8 billion and they’re responsible for £10.08 billion of UK export earnings.
So, could we be trying harder to attract international students? It can be difficult and time consuming to attract students from countries such as China and Saudi as you will need someone fluent in the language, understands the process of these students applying for universities, understand the cultural aspects of these countries and now how to market to the potential students over there.
It sounds like a lot of work, but that’s where IEC Abroad comes in. University consultant specialists we advise students every day who want to study in the UK and are ready to make the move. With offices in Manchester, Dublin, Thailand, India, Jeddah, Riyadh and China we have fully trained specialists all over the world ready to speak to students local to them about your University.
There are still some spaces available at the British University Fair on the 4th November, where you can speak to over 500 students who want to study at UK universities – find out more here or email
Study in different countries