UCAS, the United Kingdom’s central admissions service, recently published a report indicating high demand for UK’s higher education from international students. Even though the pandemic has made life difficult, applicants have chosen to take advantage of enrolling at UK universities. According to UCAS, the UK is expected to see a 46% increase in international undergrad admission in UK by 2026. This projection is based on the current trend of increasing international student enrollment, which has seen steady growth in recent years.
UCAS Predicts International Undergrad Admission in UK
The increase in international student admissions is expected to come from a variety of countries, with the biggest increases coming from China, India, and the United States. These countries are traditionally major sources of international students for the UK, and the expected increase in enrollment from these countries is in line with historical trends.
The report uses UCAS data and a College Board survey of potential students from the beginning of 2022 to show the United Kingdom’s consistent attraction as a study-abroad destination. Students mentioned the possibility to learn a different language and culture, the safety of life in the United Kingdom, and the recognition of British higher education as the top three reasons for studying in the UK.
As a partner of UCAS, AHZ Associates also helps international students achieve their education in the UK. The highest number of applicants have come from China, India, and the USA in the last 10 years as per UCAS. However, these countries represent three of the world’s ten most rapidly expanding markets. In more recent times, Nigeria has been recognised as one of the top ten highest markets for the United Kingdom over the period of the past five years; Pakistan is currently in second place, following Nigeria. UCAS also added that there has been a surprising demand increase in the United States, especially over the past year after Nigeria.
UCAS attributes the anticipated increase in international student admissions to a variety of factors, including the UK’s reputation as a top destination for higher education and the country’s strong economy. In addition, the UK’s visa policies for international students have become more favorable in recent years, making it easier for students from abroad to study in the country.
“International students are showing extraordinary resilience—the universal appeal of living and studying in another country continues. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, international students have pursued the opportunities available to them, and we forecast sustained growth in interest to study in the UK to continue into the next decade,” stated Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of UCAS.
The anticipated increase in international student admissions is expected to have a positive impact on the UK’s economy, as international students contribute significantly to the country’s GDP through tuition fees and spending on goods and services. It is also expected to have a positive impact on the country’s cultural diversity and global connections.
According to UCAS data, only seven nations accounted for just over half of all international applicants in 2021, with China representing over a quarter of total international applicant volumes-
UCAS notes that the top three largest international markets and among the ten markets with the largest proportional growth are China (+18.8k, +195%), India (+6.8k, +222%), and the United States (+4.8k, +165%). The United Arab Emirates (+2.1k) has seen the greatest percentage rise in growth (247% since 2011), although Turkey (+1.1k) and South Africa (+0.6k) have seen the greatest absolute increases.
To be more specific, in the last five years, Nigeria (+1.7k, +102%) and Pakistan (+1.1k, +59%) have been two of the UK’s top ten fastest-growing markets. If we look at only the previous two years, we see that Hong Kong (+1.3k, +23%) and Ireland (+1.2k, +29%) are both significant growth markets.
According to UCAS, the United States has experienced an unexpected jump in demand just in the last year, with the second biggest percentage one-year growth (+2.7k, +53%) after [only] Nigeria.
Overall, the prediction by UCAS of a 46% increase in international undergraduate student admissions by 2026 is good news for the UK’s higher education sector and for the country as a whole. Moreover, AHZ Associates is working more efficiently to fulfill the aspirations of international students to study in the UK, and hopefully, they will be able to help reach UCAS Chief Executive’s forecast.