Scottish Universities See Continued Drop in Number of EU Students Due to Brexit

United Kingdom Europe International Studies Statistics by Erudera News Jan 28, 2022

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Scottish universities are reporting a decrease in the number of students coming from European Union (EU) countries due to Brexit, recent statistics have revealed. The fall in EU students at providers in Scotland, comes among others, after the decision of the UK government to dismiss participation in the EU Erasmus+ program.

However, according to data published recently by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), a new overall record number of students have enrolled in universities in Scotland, marking an 8.6 increase from last year, reports.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said the high number of students enrolling at Scottish universities as well as the increase in international students, highlights the fact that Scotland remains an attractive study destination for potential students.

Data have also shown that the number of Scots from the most deprived areas studying at Scottish universities has increased. In addition, higher education institutions in Scotland have seen a major increase in the number of non-EU domiciled students, a 17 percent rise compared to last year.

Minister Hepburn said that every young person should have an equal chance of success regardless of their background, expressing satisfaction that there has been a record number of Scots from the most deprived areas pursuing higher education.

“By 2030, we want 20% of students entering higher education to come from Scotland’s most deprived backgrounds and the Commissioner for Fair Access has previously said that Scotland is ‘setting the pace’ in the UK in widening participation,” minister said.

Commenting on the new data, Minister Hepburn highlighted the drop in the number of EU students in Scotland, adding that he is hopeful Scotland can still welcome students from the EU.

“However, we have seen a continued drop in EU students coming to study in Scotland following Brexit. EU students enrich our campus life and I hope we can still welcome many of them to our world-leading institution,” Hepburn said.

HESA statistics have revealed that education providers in Scotland have hosted more students from Ireland than any other country during 2020/21. The total number of students studying in Scotland during the 2020/21 academic year stood at 191,265 reports.

According to HESA, the United Kingdom has enrolled a record number of international students in 2020/21, also meeting its target of having 600,000 international students ten years earlier than hoped.

During the 2020/21 academic year, 605,130 international students pursued studies at UK universities and colleges, increasing by 8.7 compared to a year earlier.

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