International student numbers to the UK have dropped by nearly a third since 2010, a report by left-leaning think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has revealed. Students from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are most affected, with 62, 38 and 30 per cent fewer Tier 4 student visas (predominantly for higher education courses) being issued for nationals of these countries since the coalition government took over three years ago.
A main concern of the government has been reducing net migration to the UK, and ‘the reduction in foreign student numbers is being driven’ by it, Alice Sachrajda, IPPR research fellow, told the Financial Times. However, the report showed that even a 30 per cent reduction in migration by student visa holders would only reduce total net migration by 10 per cent, making very little difference in the medium term.
Despite the seemingly hostile environment for Indian students, the UK remains their most favoured destination, chosen by 21 per cent of respondents in a study conducted by the British Council. India and China are the UK’s largest international student markets.
By Rafaela Peteanu
International student numbers are on the rise in the US for the fourth year in a row, according to the Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education. More than a quarter of a million new international students enrolled in academic year 2012–13 at US institutions, a 9.8 per cent increase since the previous year.
Two out of three of these students came from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia or Canada. The largest increase – 30.5 per cent – was in the number of Saudi students. In 2004, not long after the 9/11 attacks, there were only about 3,000 Saudi students in the US; there are now fifteen times as many. The influx is probably a result of more relaxed US immigration policies on international students, combined with the sheer size of the Saudi government’s King Abdullah Scholarship Programme. Other significant increases were in students from Brazil, Iran and Kuwait, while Taiwan, Turkey and Nepal were slightly down.
As in previous years the states of
By Melanie Butler and Rafaela Peteanu
This article was published in the EL Gazette print edition in February 2014. All the information contained in it was accurate at the time we went to press.
Unscrupulous agents have lured Romanians into the UK with promises of free money for studying at private colleges, Gazette research reveals. Our investigation followed the announcement that the UK government had ‘frozen’ student maintenance grants for Romanians and Bulgarians, who have been the subject of much anti-immigrant rhetoric in Britain in the run-up to the lifting of work restrictions on the citizens of the two countries.
Despite the press focus on these two nationalities, all EU students have been affected. Since last November student financial support has been suspended for all UK and other EU citizens applying for designated courses below degree level at 23 named private colleges. The suspension initially runs only for the academic year 2013–14.
Agents aggressively marketing ‘free’ courses may have been behind the surge in demand for loans from EU nationals. Adverts on Romanian language websites