Analysis from the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, has found that the UK is becoming increasingly reliant on international students from China to make up postgraduate figures.
Bar the United States, the UK looks set to become the world’s largest host of international postgraduate students within the next decade, with an increasing number of overseas students taking up executive MBA programs in London and other such courses. It is thought that UK postgraduate figures could reach 241,000 by the year 2024 according to this article.
“The level of dependence”
What was found most interesting from these figures was the proportion of students that are expected to come from China. The analysis suggests that close to half of all UK postgraduate numbers are to come from China, totalling 44 per cent of the UK growth anticipated.
This news has led to concerns over the state of UK postgraduate numbers, where future development and expansion “hinges critically upon just one market”. While India was previously the largest source of postgraduate growth, it is now thought that more Indian students are favouring rival countries for their postgraduate education, with Indian students now making up just 9 per cent of the predicated UK forecast.
Also of interest is the number of students from Nigeria who are expected to make up numbers in the UK for master’s degrees in accounting and finance and similar courses, as it is thought that, with figures from India on the decline, Nigerian students are set to make up the second largest number of postgraduate students by 2024, behind that of China.
Director of research at the British Council’s Education Intelligence team and the report’s author, Zainab Malik, said of the findings, “We knew China and India would be a big part of the story, but were surprised at the level of dependence on these origin countries.” This gives further evidence to support the argument for the call to remove international students from the net migration cap for the UK, as it illustrates the need and want for increasing international figures in UK higher education.
Image Credit: Gidzy (flickr.com)
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