UK Universities See Increase in Number of Applicants From Nigeria, China & India

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Feb 23, 2022

Students in United Kingdom

Universities and colleges in the United Kingdom have seen an increase in the number of student applications from Nigeria, China, and India this year, according to Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) data for undergraduate courses starting this autumn.

New data show that applications from China grew by 12.1 percent to 28,930 whereas those from India increased by 11 percent yearly, up to 8,660 applicants, Erudera.com reports.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, which is prioritized in the UK’s International Education Strategy, continues to be an emerging market according to UCAS, growing by 47 percent year on year to 2,380 applicants, an increase from 1,620 in 2021.

Following the publication of figures, a Russell Group spokesperson said that the UK continues to be a popular choice for students worldwide despite a highly competitive environment and the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered.

“The strong growth in applicants from India and Nigeria, prioritised in the UK’s International Education Strategy show efforts to attract students from new countries are beginning to pay dividends,” the spokesperson said.

UCAS figures revealed that applications from Ireland have also increased at 5,100, up from 4,850 in 2021 and 3,850 in 2020.

At the same time, data from UCAS have shown that a record number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds applied to start university or college this autumn. About 28 percent of youngsters from disadvantaged groups applied to a university, an increase from 17.8 percent in 2013.

The deadline for applications closed in January with the overall number of UK 18-year-olds applying to university increasing by 5 percent. In contrast, mature applicants decreased by 17 percent compared to 2021.

Moreover, application rates for 18-year-olds in UK countries are as follows:

  • 52.6 percent in Northern Ireland
  • 44.1 percent in England
  • 37.5 percent in Wales
  • 35.4 percent in Scotland

According to UCAS, the number of applicants to UK universities is expected to increase from about 700,000 in a year to more than a million by 2025. 

“Demand for higher education is expected to rise in the next decade, on top of a demographic increase in the number of 18-year-olds. To guarantee quality and student choice can be maintained, it is vital that the Government prioritises long-term sustainable funding for teaching on a per student basis,” Russell Group spokesperson added.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the number of 18-year-olds might increase 25 percent between 2020 and 2030.

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