East Asian Student Enrolment in the UK Remains Low


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 09, 2022 01:20 PM IST

With the world recovering from over two years of the pandemic, the UK, while it has seen improvement in international student enrolment, is still yet to see East Asian student enrolment reach pre-pandemic levels. Stakeholders are optimistic but understand there will be delays.

East Asian Student Enrolment in the UK Remains Low

A report from the British Council revealed that the number of international students from East Asia, enrolling in UK universities remains depressed, as reported by The Pie News. According to the British Council, the country issued fewer UK student visas to students from different East Asian countries in the past academic year, i.e. 2021, than it did in 2019.

The UK, in 2021, issued over 40,000 more student visas to international students compared to the overall student visa issued in 2019, however, a dip in the number of student visas issued to East Asian students was still witnessed.

Referring to the 5 Trends to Watch in 2022 East Asia Edition, the Pie News suggests that the overall decline in the numbers could be attributed to the increased travel restrictions imposed by the different countries, as well as, an increased willingness among students from East Asian students to defer their study abroad plans till after the pandemic is over.

Also Read: Family Support Significant to Success of Indian Diaspora in the UK: Report

However, stakeholders seem to keep a positive attitude towards the shift, expecting East Asian students to remain the top source of international students in the UK.

Jon Santangelo, spokesperson for BOSSA, Chinas association of study abroad service agencies, stated that their data has depicted the UK as being the top destination for students, even surpassing the US and other countries. However, stakeholders from the country are expecting a long-term shift to nearby Asian countries like Singapore and Japan.

Director of Malaysia/East Asia insights hug at the British Council, Jazreel Goh, being optimistic, stated that the East Asian markets are expected to remain the top region for student mobility to the UK in absolute numbers, further highlighting China to be a key pillar in the UKs international education industry.

While 75% of all UK student visas are issued across East Asia are to Chinese students, the number continues to remain below pandemic levels, not only in the UK but in other destinations as well.

Also Read: New Initiative in the Pipeline for Indian Students in the UK

British Council, offering its prediction, stated that out of the 16 East Asian economies, 14 are expected to exponentially grow in the next 5 years. In other words, a hike in incomes levels will be seen, which could lead to the UK becoming a leader among study abroad destinations.

However, in the words of Goh, the recovery will nevertheless follow a winding path, seen as an increase in financial, geopolitical tensions as well as in the airline industry, which could make travel even more difficult and complicated.

Source: The PIE News

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