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New UCAS figures have revealed a significant increase of international students in the UK

New UCAS figures have revealed a significant increase of international students in the UK

With the deadline for Brexit rapidly approaching, there have been concerns that the UK’s exit from the EU will deter foreign students from choosing UK as a destination for studying. However, new figures have revealed that these concerns are unfounded when it comes to applicants outside of the EU.

According to the latest figures from UCAS, a record 40,720 international students have been accepted on courses in UK universities for the current academic year - that is a 6% increase from the previous year. This was largely driven by 30% increase of Chinese students choosing to study in the UK. According to UCAS, the number of students in the UK from mainland China have more than doubled in the past decade. The tensions from the US-China trade war has only strengthened the UK’s appeal to students from mainland China, but even without the tensions with between China and the US, the UK is still the preferred destination for a number of Chinese students.

While the number of non-EU students have increased significantly, the number of students from the EU have stalled, thanks to Brexit uncertainty and new fees being introduced to EU students studying in the UK. According to the figures from UCAS, there were around 30,350 students from EU countries confirming their places through UCAS this year, which was very little movement from the previous academic year.

There are a number of other countries that are starting to rival the UK’s market for overseas students, including Japan, Australia and Canada. However, the UK is doing all that it can to ensure that it continues to be the number one destination for international students. The government have recently announced that they will be re-introducing the post-study work visas for international students, which means that students will be granted a visa with or without a job after graduation -giving the UK a clear advantage over other destinations.

The influx of international students should be incredibly encouraging for those who are looking to invest in Purpose-built Student Accommodation (PBSA). Universities all over the country are already struggling to cope with the demand for student beds and the increasing number of international students is only going to add further strain to the current supply. Not to mention that a large number of international students come from affluent background and will be looking for premium accommodation.

Clearly, there is a huge demand for PBSA - from both domestic and international students - and this demand is only going to get stronger in years to come.

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