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29 Jul 2016

Brexit loses UK nearly a Third of International Students

Almost a third of international students say they were not likely to study in the UK as a result of Brexit. According to a survey from college and careers service Hobsons, 32 per cent of the 1,014 respondents said they would prefer Canada, 21 per cent chose Germany, while 20 per cent picked American or Australian universities.

Welcoming, liberal, internationally inclusive and progressive, admission to the UK’s prestigious universities are the epitome of academic success for brilliant students. In the wake of Brexit, international students have other reasons to be dissuaded from attending British Universities, preferring to go elsewhere to study. This will impact the UK negatively because EU students provide a £3.7bn annual boost to the economy.

Top EU Student Uni: University College London

With 4,500 EU students, University College London (UCL) boasts more European students than any other UK university, receiving a total of £31.m in fees annually. Prof Michael Arthur, president and provost of UCL, predicted Brexit would trigger “a 70-80% drop in EU students”.

EU and British students pay £9,000 (or about €10,690 or $11,940, according to our calculator) in tuition at UCL. Non-EU international students at UCL pay £16,000 per year for most arts and humanities programs, £21,000 for degrees in science and £32,000 to study medicine.

Risk of Losing over 100,000 International Students?

A pre-Brexit Hobsons Solutions Annual International Student Survey estimated a potential loss of 113,116 international students.

Conservative estimates of the lost fees, if the 35 % international students go elsewhere, exceed £690 million yearly.

German Competition

If tuition rates are raised, loan programs are made complex and EU students are required visas in order to study in the UK, Germany will prove an attractive alternative. The country offers nearly free university programs for international students with no need to sprechen sie Deutsch.

German universities increasingly offer programs in English, specifically competing with the UK for international students.

G’day, EU students, Welcome Down Under

Australia has benefited from the UK’s reduced competitiveness, particularly the more restrictive immigration and post-study work policies introduced since 2011, noted Lucy Shackleton, EU campaign manager for Univer­sities UK.

Executive director of the International Education Association of Australia said Brexit would be “absolutely great news for Australia because we are competing directly with the Brits for foreign students”. Phil Honeywood, added that Australia would “be at the front of the queue to welcome those students.” Over 17,000 EU students attend Australian universities.

Harvard is the top rated university, followed by MIT, then Stanford with Cambridge and Oxford at fourth and fifth, respectively. With two universities in the top ten, (US claims the rest), the UK has been the most popular education destination in Europe. However, German universities growth outstripping the UK’s was down to perception that “the UK is not welcoming”. And that was before Brexit.