The Guardian is reporting that the number of foreign undergraduates at universities in the UK has decreased for the first time in 5 years, according to Ucas.
The number of international students accepted as undergraduates at UK universities has gone down for the first time in five years, according to the higher education admissions service, Ucas.
Although the figure only relates to undergraduates, who make up a small proportion of international students in UK higher education, the sector is nervous as speculation mounts about government plans to cut the overall numbers of non-EU students as part of its drive to reduce immigration.
According to the Ucas end-of-admissions report for 2016, published on Thursday, the number of students accepted from outside the EU fell by 2.3% to 38,300, which marked the first fall since 2011. The fall in numbers was due to a decrease in both applicants and the acceptance rate.
In contrast the number of EU students accepted to start their studies in September rose by 7%, with big increases from countries including Poland and Bulgaria. Most will have applied before the Brexit vote.
James Dobson of Bright Blue, the conservative liberal pressure group, said: “The fall in acceptances from applicants outside the EU shows the very real impact of including international students in the net migration target. International students pay significantly higher tuition fees than their British counterparts and yield significant amounts of soft power to the UK government.”
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