Eastern European Students Are the Most Employed in England & Wales, Figures Show

Romania Bulgaria Poland Lithuania Europe International Studies Statistics by Erudera News Apr 20, 2023

young people working in a coffee shop

Students from Eastern Europe dominate the employment market in England and Wales, according to the results of the 2021 census, which is carried out every ten years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Most international students who worked alongside their studies in 2021 were from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Lithuania.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s largest official statistics provider, show that 73.9 percent of students in England and Wales who worked and studied simultaneously were of Romanian origin, Erudera.com reports.

Other most employed students were from the following Eastern Europe countries:

  • Bulgaria - 62.3 percent
  • Poland -56.7 percent
  • Lithuania - 56.0 percent

In total, 373,600 students held a non-British passport in England and Wales at the time of the 2021 census, of whom 96.6 percent settled in England and the remaining 3.4 percent in Wales.

Nearly two-thirds were non-EU nationals, and a third from EU countries. 57.6 percent of international students in England and Wales held a passport from a non-EU country, while 42.4 percent held EU passports.

“The patterns were similar when comparing England with Wales for both EU (35.8 percent and 32.8 percent ) and non-EU-born (64.2 percent and 67.2 percent),” the article revealing 2021 census data for England and Wales points out.

Data also indicate that overall 2,463,000 people aged 18 and over attended full-time studies, 70.7 percent of whom were UK-born, 9.7 percent from European countries, and 19.6 percent were non-EU born.

“This means nearly 3 in 10 people in full-time education, aged 18 years or over, were non-UK-born. However, this overall estimate may include those studying at boarding school or in further education and people who are non-UK-born but UK passport holders,” ONS report notes.

The majority of international students in England and Wales – 42.2 percent were from the Middle East and Asia, followed by EU14 (15.9 percent), Africa (12.4 percent), and EU2 (11.7 percent).

As per the gender of students, women outnumbered men, with 55.0 percent of female students studying in England and Wales, compared to 45.0 percent of males. A similar pattern was noticed when looking at international student numbers in England and Wales separately.

One-third of the international students, equivalent to 127,000 students or 33.9 percent, settled in London, UK’s capital. Outside of London, international students were more evenly distributed in 2021.

The South East welcomed 45,000 or 12.0 percent of students, the second region with the highest student population, followed by the West Midlands hosting 35,000 students or 9.4 percent.

In England, international students were distributed in the following major cities:

  • Manchester (13,000 students)
  • Birmingham (12,600 students)
  • Coventry (9,700 students)
  • Newham (9,300 students) and;
  • Cambridge (9,100 students)

Meanwhile, across Wales, the highest number of international students (6,150) were residing in Cardiff.

© Camille Chen | Unsplash

Related News

Erasmus logo

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has started an investigation into “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu (ULBS) in Romania regarding possible fraud related to Erasmus funds, EPPO said on Tuesday, September 19.


Sep 21, 2023