Data show that compared with the 2017-18 school year, the number of international students paying full tuition in the 2018-19 school year increased by 10% to 343,000, of which Chinese students increased by 13% to more than 120,000.
With the sharp increase in the number of Chinese students, the number of non-European foreign students studying at British universities last year soared by 10%, boosting the income of relevant universities. Educational institutions in the UK are seeking to ease growing financial pressure.
Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, a government agency, shows that compared to the 2017-18 school year, the number of students receiving higher education in the 2018-19 school year increased by 2% to 2.4 million. Among them, the number of “international” students paying full tuition increased by 10% to 343,000; the number of non-British European students increased by 2%, and these students were calculated separately because they paid the same tuition as British students.
The number of international students, including Chinese students, increased by 13% to more than 120,000-accounting for more than one third of all non-EU students, and the increase in the past 5 years has reached 35%. The number of Indian students has increased to nearly 27,000.
British University Affairs Minister Chris Skidmore underscored the government’s commitment to increase the number of foreign students to 600,000 by 2030 and said: “Data shows that our world-class universities continue to attract the most Smart, best student. “
Despite concerns about the future status of Brexit and EU students studying abroad, the number of students from non-UK European countries last year increased from 139,000 in the previous year to 143,000, but they still accounted for 6% of the total number of students . Last year’s batch may be the second-to-last batch of non-UK European students eligible for British citizenship tuition fees and government-backed loans.
Among the full-time undergraduates who live in the UK, the proportion of white students has remained basically unchanged since the 2014-15 school year, and remains at 75%, while the proportion of black students rose slightly from 6% to 7%. The number of students from private schools increased from 105,000 to 113,000, and the number of students from public schools increased from 984,000 to 1.1 million.
During this period, the number of students from low-participation-based tertiary education areas increased from 123,000 to 140,000, and the number of students from the poorest households increased from 163,000 to 196,000.
However, critics believe that the data show that the UK has not made sufficient progress in promoting social mobility. “These terrible statistics should cause serious government concern, as the government has made it clear that it will improve its quality nationwide,” said Imogen Farhan, a researcher at Reform, a British think tank. There is an urgent need for reforms that require universities to announce how they are spending their budgets to increase participation and their commitment to consider student background in the admissions process. “
The data also shows that compared with 2018, the proportion of first-degree degrees awarded in 2019 remains at 28%. The “fractional inflation” of previous years has raised concerns about the quality of scoring and the risk of a decline in the value of a college degree.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the UK’s university regulator, Office for Students, said she would analyse the data before a report is released in the spring. “Score inflation may weaken public confidence in higher education, both for college students, graduate students and employers. We will continue to seek appropriate action to address these issues.”
Since the 2016-17 school year, among all students who have obtained all degrees, the proportion of women in college students has remained at 57%.