Report: There’s a Decline in International Student Enrollment at UK Business Schools, Govt Restrictions Blamed

United Kingdom Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 11, 2024

two students in London, UK

Business schools in the United Kingdom are witnessing a decline in the number of international students enrolled in January 2024, a new report released by the Chartered Association of Business Schools has found. Many respondents have blamed the government's policies for this decline.

According to findings, this January, the intake of international students from non-EU countries was lower at 76 percent of these schools - 80 percent of which offer January in-take programs, Erudera.com reports.

On the other hand, 41 percent of schools saw a decline in recruitment of EU students compared to January 2023, while 59 percent reported consistent enrollment numbers.

Nine out of ten respondents believe that the government’s restrictions on international students imposed last year, which banned international students from bringing their family members to the country, are impacting student numbers at these schools.

Restrictions, which aim to reduce net migration and prevent abuse of the immigration system, came into effect on January 1, 2024.

According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, a total of 152,980 visas were issued to family members of international students in the UK in September 2023, an increase of 930 percent from the 14,839 in the year ending September 2019. ONS reveals that net migration was 672,000 from June 2022 to June 2023.

Chair of the Chartered Association of Business Schools Robert MacIntosh said that the findings show the potential for these policies to severely affect the UK’s international education sector, one of the most successful exports.

“The decline in international business student enrolments will limit a vital source of universities’ income which underpins the cost of teaching and research across subject areas far beyond business and management,” he said.

The most significant decrease has been witnessed in students from India and Nigeria. Nonetheless, the report points out that enrollment of students from other regions, such as Europe, South Asia, and Latin America, has also declined.

Schools said the biggest challenge now appears to be the enrollment of international students from non-EU countries, with 78 percent stating they are below target, 61 percent significantly below the target, and 17 per cent reported being moderately below target.

The report highlights that the demand has especially decreased among students applying for MBAs and associated management Master’s programs.

About one-third of the schools responding to the survey saw a drop in non-EU international students enrolled in postgraduate courses starting in the autumn of 2023, up from 26 percent from the 2022 survey.

The media have recently reported that some UK universities have warned of layoffs and the discontinuation of several courses due to the drop in the number of international students in postgraduate programs. At least 15 universities have openly said they are cutting staff and some courses due to these developments.

Image source: Lucas Peng | Unsplash

Also Read:

>> Decline in International Postgraduate Enrollment at UK Universities Raises Concerns

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