Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (May 2014), which reveals the changes in the number of international students migrating to the UK to study. In another report released by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (Hefce) on 11 April 2014, Universities across the country are relying on Chinese students, with 23% of students coming from China studying masters-level degree courses compared to 26% of students from the UK, in the year 2012-2013.
Immigration Statistics: Migrating to the UK to study
In the last decade there have been changes in the number of people migrating to the UK to study. Around 140,000 to 150,000 long-term migrants arrived in the UK annually to study during the early 2000s. This started to increase from 2008 to a peak of 246,000 in the year ending September 2011. Since then the number has steadily declined and recently leveled to 177,000 in the year ending December 2013.
There were 219,053 visas issued for the purposes of study (excluding student visitors) in the year ending March 2014, a rise of 6%. An estimated 71% of long-term immigrants to the UK for study are non-EU citizens. In particular, the majority of immigrants to the UK for formal study come from the other foreign country groups, which includes China, from which 85,000 people immigrated for formal study in the year ending December 2013. The number of sponsored student visa applications rose by 1% to 209,011, in the year ending March 2014. There was also a 7% increase in for the university sector.
International And EU Entrants Make Up 74% Of All Students Studying Masters Degrees
According to figures released by Hefce earlier this year, Chinese students make up 58% of all international entrants studying maths, followed by 56% in media studies, 47% in business and management studies and 39% in engineering. The figures have shown that international and EU students make up 74% of all students who started taught masters degrees in 2012-13.
Chinese national, Chang Mingwei, is studying his masters degree in management and marketing at Lancaster University.
“The UK has a long history of universities, with many around for hundreds of years. The education here is pretty good,” he said.
“The tutors really take lectures seriously. Before they give a lecture to students they prepare lots of things, compared with the tutors in China. Lots of tutors in China maybe focus their attention on their own research, and they don’t care much about the students. Here the tutors pay a lot of attention to what we can learn. It’s better than China.”
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