Comment on HEFCE research on international students

02 April 2014

Commenting on HEFCE research into the number of international students at English universities in 2012/13, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director-General of the Russell Group, said:

“If we are to maintain our place as a global leader in higher education then the UK must continue to attract the very best talent from around the world and show that its doors are open to genuine international students.

“The number of overseas students at Russell Group universities has increased overall, though there have been falls in the number of students coming from India and Nigeria following changes to the post-study visa routes.

“The welcome that students and potential students receive from the UK is critical to our ability to grow this important part of the economy. All parts of the Government must work together closely to ensure the UK not only provides a fair and efficient immigration system for international students but also communicates this effectively overseas.

“Even the perception that the UK does not welcome the very best international students is damaging.” 

Notes to Editors

  1. Stagnation in international student growth in the UK has happened whilst the number of international students studying in the US and Australia has significantly increased. For example, in 2013 the US reported a 10% increase in international students entering postgraduate study, with growth mainly driven by an increase of 40 per cent in students from India.
  2. The University of Sheffield has worked with the Home Office to produce videos aimed at prospective students in China and India to debunk the myths around the UK’s immigration system which have arisen recently. You can see these here:

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