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UK: Increase in overseas students for year 2004/05

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has released its latest statistics on higher education in the UK. The data show that the total number of incoming students in the UK increased by 6.1 per cent, from 300 055 to 318 400. However, this increase is lower than in previous years (at around 9 per cent). The new HESA data refer to the academic year 2004/2005, and thus do not yet give any indication on the feared negative impacts of the doubled VISA fees for international students in force since July 2005 (See ACA Newsletter –Education Europe June 2005), though they do give an indication of the impacts of the lower (home) tuition fee applying now also to students from the 10 new EU member states.

The HESA figures show:

  • An overall increase of 3.2 per cent in the number of students from the EU,
  • 53.3 per cent increase in number of student from the new member states in 2004/05,
  • Cyprus as the largest contributor from the new EU member states with more than 5 000 students,
  • The number of Polish students in the UK doubled, though in absolute terms the numbers are still relatively low (less than half of the Cypriot students).

As for the countries outside Europe, with more than 50 000 students in the UK, China continues to be the largest contributor. The increase of 10.3 per cent from 2003/04 shows however a significant slowing down in comparison to the 35.8 per cent in the previous year (2002-2003 to 2003-2004).

HESA Press Release
HESA website