Recently, UK held a referendum on whether it should remain part of EU or exit the union and with over fifty two percent voting in favor of an exit, UK is all set to vacate its spot as the favored destination for international students. According to a few studies, UK is already facing stiff competition from countries like US and Australia when it comes to attracting international students. With the recent Brexit referendum, it should not come as a complete surprise if international students pick Australia, US and even Germany over UK, to study and migrate to, after a few years.
While the UK government may have modified its immigration process, making it tougher for those seeking to migrate to UK, nevertheless a fall in international student figures will impact UK since most of these students opt to relocate to UK permanently once they graduate and get a valid work offer. As a result, any drop in expected international students’ enrollment is bound to impact UK in the long term.
According to a British Council Study, while current enrollment into UK universities may seem to have increased slightly, it has nevertheless decreased over the last five years. This point is further underscored by the fact that over the last year, over thirty thousand international students had opted to leave UK for other countries to continue their education.
As a result, the APPG set up by the government pointed out that while domestic policies including the recent one on immigration was having an impact on UK’s educational market, it pointed out the salient facts on how Canada replaced UK as the preferred educational destination, within a space of three years. It only makes sense for students to prefer other destinations when new immigration policies make it tougher for international students to even obtain a temporary residential permit. As a result of these and various other factors, the UK share in the global education market has started to decrease and rapidly at that, while those of nations such as Australia, Canada and Germany is set to increase further.
The current government needs to come up with better policies, one that can address the downward trend in international student enrollment figures. Apart from scholarships, internship programs, the UK can offer competitive rates for board and lodging for international students. Unless the government does something to address this, the UK’s global share in the education market is all set to be revised further, downwards.