Latest data from UCAS in the UK shows a slight decline in international students accepted to undergraduate courses for the next academic year.
A total of 50,860 accepted international students from outside the EU is a 0.9% drop from the 51,290 last year.
The number of EU students has also dropped marginally to 10,610 from 10,910 last year. The decline continues the trend since the UK voted to leave the EU and students from the region lost access to home fee status as well as government funding.
EU undergraduate student numbers hit a peak of 30,280 students in 2016. In 2019, 30,040 EU students were accepted onto undergraduate courses via UCAS.
The privately-owned admissions service has previously said that around 75-80% of EU domiciled students and around two thirds of non-EU students typically apply via its platform.
This year, Ireland – the only EU country to maintain its access to home fee status and UK funding – saw 2,560 applicants accepted, a record number of Irish students using the UCAS platform.
The next two EU countries with the most accepted students were France with 1,260 and Spain with 1,100.
Among non-EU countries, China and India represented the most accepted applicants, with 15,180 (down from 16,720 in 2022) and 4,960 (up from 4,400), respectively.
While the non-EU student numbers are a fall from last year, the 50,860 figure represents a 25% increase on 2019 numbers.
Other countries with more than 1,000 students accepted include: Hong Kong (3,330); Malaysia (2,670); the US (2,180); the UAE (1,710); Singapore (1,550); Canada (1,460); and Nigeria (1,370).
More than 1,000 students from Turkey (1,020) have been accepted for the first time on undergraduate courses through UCAS.
“Today’s numbers show the continuing attraction of UK higher education across the globe”
The latest data shows that at the undergraduate level this has not been the case, with the majority of growth in international student numbers being at the postgraduate taught level.
Interim CEO at UCAS, Sander Kristel, said a record 38,140 UK students had secured places through Clearing and “record numbers” had exercised to choose study options later in the cycle.
“Today’s numbers show the continuing attraction of UK higher education across the globe, and also a return to normal growth following the surge of demand seen during the pandemic,” she added.
Overall, 270,350 UK 18-year-old students have been accepted onto a course, down from 275,390 (-1.8%) in 2022 and up from 239,460 (+12.9%) in 2019, UCAS noted.
Clearing remains open until October 17.
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