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United Kingdom: Student numbers in 2011/12

New data on student enrolments and qualifications obtained at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom (UK) have been released. The data refer to the academic year 2011/12 and were published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Regarding enrolments, the figures show that the total number of enrolments was not significantly different between 2010/11 and 2011/12, in which they stood at 2 496 645. However, this general trend reflects a decrease of 3% in postgraduate enrolments and a 1% increase in undergraduate enrolments between 2010/11 and 2011/12. This is the first academic year in which postgraduate enrolments have decreased since 2007/08.

Concerning the fields of study, the greatest percentage increase between 2010/11 and 2011/12 in undergraduate enrolments was in mathematical sciences (6%) and, for the postgraduate level, agriculture and related subjects (10%) showed the highest increase in enrolments. The subject fields least desired by undergraduate students were architecture, building and planning (with a decrease of 8% between 2010/11 and 2011/12) and, for postgraduate studies, computer science, in which enrolments dropped by 15%.

Out of the total of students enrolled in UK’s higher education institutions in 2011/12, 82.6% were UK domicile students, 5.3% were from other EU member states and 12.1% were from third countries. Between 2010/11 and 2011/12, the number of students from third countries increased by 1.5% and the number of students from other EU countries increased by 1.9%, while the number of UK domicile students decreased by 0.6%.

The largest share of students from third-countries, 62%, came from Asia. However, the proportion of students from different Asian countries studying in the UK varied considerably. While students from China increased by 17% between 2010/11 and 2011/12, and those from Hong Kong by 9%, students originating in India and Pakistan dropped by 24% and 13%, respectively.

Regarding the countries of origin of EU students studying in the UK, the largest increase between 2010/11 and 2011/12 was verified in Romania (+27.9) and Bulgaria (+23.7%). The amount of students from Poland (-14.1%), Ireland (-10.5%), France (-3.7%) and Germany (-1.7%), on the other hand, declined.

HESA – student enrolments HESA – Non-UK domicile students