Overseas Students

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th November 2021.

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Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Labour, Walsall South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the number of overseas students in the UK, broken down by (a) nationality and (b) university.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data about students enrolled at UK higher education (HE) providers.

Statistics on the total number of overseas students at each HE provider in the UK can be found in Table 1 of HESA’s Open Data tables. This data is available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-1.

Further detail, which includes the country of domicile prior to study, is available in Table 28. This data is available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-28.

The statistics available in HESA’s Open Data tables refer to the academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20. Figures for the academic year 2020/21 will be published by HESA in February 2022.

The government fully recognises the important contribution that international students make to the UK’s HE sector, both economically and culturally. International students enrich the university experience for all students, including those from the UK themselves. They bring greater diversity to university and college campuses adding an international dimension to the experience of all students. We are proud that so many international students choose to study here each year and look forward to welcoming many more in the future.

The International Education Strategy update published in February 2021, reaffirms the government’s commitment to the two key ambitions of the International Education Strategy to increase the value of our education exports to £35 billion per year, and to sustainably increase the number of international HE students hosted in the UK to at least 600,000 per year, both by 2030.

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