Home

Statistics

UK Higher Education Statistics

UK International Student Statistics

UK International Student Statistics

(Updated 2022)

605,130 International Students

The United Kingdom is the second country with the most international students in the world, gathering over half a million, as of 2022 statistics. The UK has a major position in higher education and scientific research and its international student population proves its academic excellence year on year.

Quick Summary

International students choose the UK as a study destination for a variety of reasons, such as its educational prestige, diversity, and career opportunities.

  • The total number of international students in the UK is 605,130.
  • The total number of EU students enrolled in UK higher education at the undergraduate level is 109,145.
  • There are currently 43,765 EU students enrolled in UK universities at the postgraduate level.
  • There are currently 205,695 non-EU undergraduate students in the UK.
  • The number of non-EU students enrolled in postgraduate level in the UK is 246,535.

Historical International Student Statistics in UK

  • The latest data shows that the total number of international students in the UK is 605,130.
  • In undergraduate enrollment, the number of international students has increased by 24.1% from 2016/17.
  • In the academic year 2016/17 a total of 197,155 international students enrolled in postgraduate studies in the UK.
  • A 13.08% increase in the international student enrolment at the postgraduate level occurred between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
International Students in the UK.jpg
Year Undergraduate Enrollment Postgraduate Enrollment Total Non-UK
2016/17 253,680 197,155 450,835
2017/18 262,790 206,370 469,160
2018/19 275,335 220,780 496,110
2019/20 299,900 256,725 556,625
2020/21 314,835 290,295 605,130

EU International Students in UK

  • As of 2020/21, the total number of enrollments from EU countries is 152,905.
  • There are currently 109,145 EU students enrolled in UK universities at the undergraduate level.
  • There are 43,765 EU students enrolled at the postgraduate level.

Non-EU International Students in UK

  • The total number of Non-EU students enrolled in all higher education levels in the UK is 452,225.
  • The total number of Non-EU undergraduate students is 205,690.
  • There are currently 246,535 students enrolled at the postgraduate level.

Top Universities for International Students in UK

  • Coventry University has the highest number of EU undergraduates (3,425).
  • In comparison, the University of Cambridge has the highest number of EU postgraduate students (1,385).
  • The Open University holds the highest number of students from England (110,475), followed by students from Scotland (21,615) and Wales with 14,290 students.

Here are some of the universities with the highest number of international students:

University EU Non-EU Total Non-UK Total UK
University College London 5,410 17,945 23,360 22,355
King's College London 4,645 10,905 15,550 22,895
Coventry University 3,800 9,960 13,760 25,380
The University of Edinburgh 3,740 11,855 15,590 22,235
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 3,300 7,965 11,265 10,105
The University of Manchester 3,160 14,465 17,625 27,010
The University of Glasgow 3,095 10,150 13,245 23,900
University of the Arts, London 2,955 8,280 11,230 9,870
The University of Warwick 2,730 7,575 10,305 17,800

International Student Statistics in England

  • There are currently 501,270 non-UK students enrolled in higher education in England.
  • The top first university with the highest number of Non-UK students in England is University College London, with 23,360 students. In second place comes the University of Manchester, with 17,625 students.

EU International Students in England

  • The total number of EU students studying in England is 124,395.
  • Currently, in England, there are 12,390 Italian students.
  • The second country that brings the most students to England is Romania (12,105), with France coming in third with 11,720 students.
  • University College London has the highest number of EU students in England (5,410), King's College London is a close second with 4,645, and Coventry University with 3,800 students.
  • There are currently 35,010 EU students studying in England at the postgraduate level.
  • 89,380 EU students are studying at the undergraduate level.

Non-EU International Students in England

  • The total number of non-EU students in England is 376,880.
  • Currently, the highest number of non-EU students in England comes from China (119,265). India comes close second with 72,085 students, and Nigeria ranks third with 16,980 students.
  • The university with the highest number of non-EU students in England is University College London with 17,945, and The University of Manchester as the second with 14,465.
  • There are 202,665 non-EU students enrolled in postgraduate studies in England.
  • The current number of undergraduate non-EU students in England is 174,215.

International Student Statistics in Scotland

  • There are currently 68,180 non-UK students enrolled in higher education in Scotland.
  • The University of Edinburgh has the most international students from non-UK countries (15,590); the University of Glasgow is the second (13,245).

EU International Students in Scotland

  • The total number of EU students in Scotland is 20,550.
  • As an EU country, Ireland brings the highest number of international students in Scotland (2,375). Germany comes close second with 2,360 students.
  • The University of Edinburgh has the highest number of international students from EU countries with 3,740; the University of Glasgow comes second with 3,095.
  • The Open University currently has no EU international students enrolled.
  • In Scotland, 6,070 international EU students study at the postgraduate level.
  • There are 14,480 EU students enrolled at the undergraduate level.

Non-EU International Students in Scotland

  • There are 47,630 non-EU students currently enrolled in higher education in Scotland.
  • A total of 17,165 non-EU students in Scotland come from China.
  • India is the second non-EU country sending the most students in Scotland, with 5,745.
  • The third non-EU country that sends the most students is the US with 5,285 students.
  • The University of Edinburgh is the top university with the most non-EU students (11,855).
  • The University of Glasgow comes second on the list, with 10,150 students.
  • A total of 29,870 non-EU students are enrolled in the postgraduate level in Scotland.
  • In comparison, there are 17,755 non-EU students enrolled in the undergraduate level.

International Student Statistics in Wales

  • The total number of international students (non-UK) in Wales is 21,565.
  • Cardiff University is the top university for international students in Wales, with 7,725 total Non-UK students.
  • In second place comes Swansea University with 3,620.

EU International Students in Wales

  • There are currently 5,395 EU students studying in Wales.
  • Poland has brought the most international students in Wales, a total of 880. Germany comes second with 540 students, and Greece has brought 415 students.
  • Cardiff University has the highest number of EU international students (1,235), Swansea University is the second with 1,070 students.
  • There are currently 1,475 students enrolled at the postgraduate level in Wales.
  • In comparison, there are 3,915 students enrolled at the undergraduate level.

Non-EU International Students in Wales

  • There are 16,170 non-EU students currently studying at Wales’ universities.
  • The majority of international students coming to Wales from non-EU countries are from China (5,380). After China, India comes second with a total of 2,895 currently in Wales.
  • The majority of international students in Wales study at Cardiff University (6,495). The second from the top is Swansea University with 2,550 students. The University of South Wales stands third with 2,390 students.
  • There are currently 9,470 non-EU students enrolled at the postgraduate level in Wales.
  • In comparison, there are 6,700 non-EU enrolled at the undergraduate level.

International Student Statistics in Northern Ireland

  • There are currently 14,120 non-UK students enrolled in higher education in Scotland.
  • Ulster University is the university with the highest number of international students (9,090).
  • With a total of 4,985 non-UK students, Queen's University Belfast comes second.

EU International Students in Northern Ireland

  • There are currently 2,575 international students from EU countries in Northern Ireland.
  • Ireland is the top country that has brought the most international students in Northern Ireland (2,170).
  • Germany is second with 65 international students from EU countries.
  • Ulster University holds the highest number of EU international students in Northern Ireland (1,400).
  • The second university that has the most international students from the EU is Queen's University Belfast with 1,135 students.
  • There are currently 1,210 students from EU countries enrolled in postgraduate level in Northern Ireland; 1,365 are enrolled in undergraduate level.

Non-EU International Students in Northern Ireland

  • Non-EU countries have brought 11,545 international students to Northern Ireland.
  • The majority of Non-EU international students (3,830) are from India.
  • China is the second from the top, with 2,005 students in Northern Ireland.
  • A total of 7,695 non-EU students are currently studying at Ulster University.
  • Queen's University Belfast is the second university with the most international students (3,855).
  • Currently, there are 4,520 non-EU students enrolled in postgraduate studies, whereas 7,025 are studying at the undergraduate level.
countries of origin of UK international students.jpg

Top International Student Countries of Origin

  • The (non-EU) country with the most international students in the UK is China with 143,820 students, followed by India with 84,555.
  • The third country with the most international students in the UK is Nigeria with 21,305 students; after Nigeria, the United States is fourth with 19,220 students.
  • Hong Kong ranks fifth from non-EU (16,655), followed by Pakistan (12,975), Malaysia (11,150), Saudi Arabia with 8,825.
  • Other non-EU countries bringing the most international students are the United Arab Emirates with 7,070 students, Canada with 6,785 students, Bangladesh with 6,665 students, and Singapore (6,580).
  • Italy is the top country with the most international students in the UK from the EU, with 14,605 students, followed by France (14,090).
  • Other EU countries with the most international students in the UK include Romania (12,860), Spain (12,290), Germany (12,250), Poland (10,755), Ireland (9,740), Greece (9,555), Portugal with 8,470 students, and Cyprus (8,335).

International Students in UK by Region

  • The European Union has the highest number of international students in the UK, a total of 152,905 students.
  • The lowest number of international students in the UK are from Australasia (2,635).
  • There are currently 152,905 international students from the European Union studying in the UK.
  • From the Other Europe, there are 19,440 international students enrolled in higher education studies.
  • There are currently 43,340 international students coming from Africa.
  • The total number of international students from Asia in the UK is 315,475.
  • There are 35,805 international students from the Middle East studying in the UK.
  • The total number of international students coming from North America is 30,750.
  • There are 4,780 international students from South America in the UK.

International Students in UK by Level of Study

  • There are 34,305 EU students studying full-time at the postgraduate level in the UK, and 230,085 from non-EU countries.
  • In comparison, there are 9,460 EU students enrolled in part-time postgraduate studies, whereas 16,450 are from non-EU countries.
  • At the undergraduate level, there are 106,095 EU students enrolled in full-time studies, and 192,510 non-EU students.
  • There are currently 3,050 students from EU countries enrolled in part-time undergraduate studies, and 13,185 from non-EU countries.

Top Subjects of Study for International Students in UK

  • The largest number of international students in the UK study Business and Management (177,715).
  • Engineering and Technology is the second most chosen subject of study for international students in the UK (with a total of 63,375 students).
  • Social Sciences and Computing rank third and fourth by number of international students enrolled in such disciplines.
  • There are currently 705 international students from the EU getting an MBA in the UK.

In comparison, there are 16,405 non-EU students enrolled in MBA programs in the UK.

Subject Non-EU Students EU Students Total Non-UK
Business and Management 145,610 32,105 177,715
Engineering and Technology 51,270 12,105 63,375
Social Sciences 36,820 15,110 51,930
Computing 35,805 10,830 46,635
Design, and Creative and Performing Arts 25,155 16,040 41,195
Subjects Allied to Medicine 26,110 9,625 35,735
Law 20,885 6,710 35,735
Language and Area Studies 10,905 5,825 35,735
Biological and Sport Sciences 9,260 7,360 16,620

International Students in UK by Sex or Gender

  • The total number of non-UK female students that have gained a postgraduate degree in the UK in the 2019/2020 academic year is 83,960.
  • On the other hand, a total of 59,530 non-UK male students have received a postgraduate degree in the UK during the same academic year.
  • The number of international female students who have received an undergraduate degree in the UK is 47,450.
  • In comparison, a total of 41,465 international male students have received an undergraduate degree in the UK in 2019/2020.
  • A total of 155 non-UK students in the “other” category have received a postgraduate degree in the UK, followed by 95 students who have received an undergraduate degree during 2019/2020.