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115k foreign students apply for UK universities despite tougher rules to slash migration

115k foreign students apply for UK universities despite tougher rules to slash migration
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Although there is political pressure to reduce the number of international students applying to UK universities in light of alarming immigration figures, the number has increased compared to the previous year. New data shows that 115,730 more persons applied to universities in the UK this year than did so in the previous year (114,910).

The rise occurs in spite of a government crackdown on the number of “dependents”—or family members—that international students are permitted to bring into the nation when they relocate here to pursue their studies.

The statistics also coincide with the news that Universities UK was compelled to begin an investigation into admissions to international students following the discovery that foreign applicants are being offered noticeably lower entrance standards in an attempt to charge more for tuition.

In January, The Sunday Times revealed that course demanding A or A* A-level grades for British students are allowing overseas students in with just C grades at GCSE.

Foreign students pay up to £38,000 a year, compared to the mere £9,250 for UK students.

Today’s statistics show a record-high number of applications from non-EU countries.

Chinese applications are up by 3.3 percent, however Turkey (37 percent) and Nigeria (45.7 percent) stand out as some of the largest increases.

In November last year, it was reported that Rishi Sunak wanted to restrict the actual number of foreign students coming to Britain and taking “low quality” degrees.

However eventually the changes merely restricted the number of dependents foreign students could bring to the UK, amid concerns such a crackdown could bankrupt universities.

The Russell Group of universities has claimed that the Government’s refusal to increase UK student fees in line with inflation, and cuts to teaching grants, means universities are actually losing around £2,500 per domestic undergraduate.
Vivienne Stern, chief executive of Universities UK, has criticised the “ongoing negative rhetoric” around foreign students, and said it poses a problem for universities.

She argued: “Income from international students is no longer providing an additionality that allows us to invest over and above what we would be able to do with just domestic sources of income”.

“Instead of being the cherry on the cake, it is becoming the flour.”

Despite Mr Sunak mulling a crackdown, the Government still has a target of 600,000 international students per year studying in the UK by 2030.

In January, Home Secretary James Cleverly said that new Government rules for students should bring down annual immigration.

From January this year, new rules came in meaning international students can only bring in dependents if they are on a postgraduate course designated as a research programme.

The Government has also banned international students from switching out of their student route into work routes before their studies have been completed.

Mr Cleverly said these rules will “have a tangible impact on net migration”.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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