The Financial Times are reporting that more than a third of international students say they are now less likely to study at a UK university following last month’s vote to leave the EU, a survey has found.
Of 1,014 students surveyed this month by Hobsons International, a careers advisory service, 30 per cent said they were less likely to study in the UK, while 6 per cent said they would definitely not study in the UK as a result of the vote.
Income from international students is forecast to reach £4.2bn in the next academic year and £4.6bn in 2017-18, and is the biggest source of revenue growth for universities, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Some students cited a less welcoming environment and a rise in racist attacks since the referendum. One respondent said: “I’ve heard there’s been a spike in racism and xenophobia within the UK and I don’t want to support that in any form.” Another said: “People have become so racist and with all the ongoing circumstances, I’d not feel safe there.”
Jeremy Cooper, managing director of Hobsons in Europe, said: “Market conditions for international student recruitment look set to toughen and universities need to send a clear message that the UK welcomes international students, as well as providing practical guidance and support.”
Universities UK, which lobbies on behalf of the sector, said: “Our university system will continue to be attractive and open to students and partners in all corners of the world. University leaders will continue to highlight the importance of diversity, tolerance and internationalism and promoting the UK as the most welcoming destination for talented people from across the world.”
Do you think international students will continue to study in the UK, or will Brexit mark the end of diversity in our universities? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie
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