Student visa restrictions could hit universities
By Mark Smulian | 17 October 2011
The clampdown on visas for overseas students could
worsen universities’ already declining share of the international market,
according to a report published today by Universities UK.
O’Prey, chair of Universities UK Longer Term Strategy Network, said: ‘The UK’s
share of the international student market has reduced over [the past decade],
with other countries becoming more competitive in attracting these students.’
He added: ‘This
trend does not include the impact of recent changes to non-European Union
student visas, which may result in a greater loss of market share in the
Even though global market
share fell, the absolute number of non-EU foreign students in the UK more than
doubled over the past decade to 400,000.
China provided the
highest numbers on all except postgraduate courses, where India took first
The report, Patterns and trends 2011 in UK
Higher Education, showed that UK higher education institutions
educate some 2.5 million students annually, a 28% increase on the position a
In 2009/10 they had
a combined turnover of £26.8bn. Tuition fees and education contracts accounted
for 31% of this, against 23% in 2000/01.
varied significantly with some institutions borrowing nothing while four had borrowed
the equivalent of more than 70% of their income.
O’Prey said the
impact of the recession was evident in the 38.6% slump in endowment and
investment income over the past year.
Despite the economic downturn, employment rates
among graduates remained high, with 80% of institutions recording between 86%–94%
of their students in employment or further study six months after graduation.