Opinion Leadership

Flora’s April roundup

Learn more about our two key priorities: supporting the financial sustainability of our business schools and celebrating 10 years of the Small Business Charter.

11th April 2024
Research & Analysis International

Analysis of international student enrolments in January 2024

28th February 2024

The Chartered ABS presents our analysis of international student enrolments in January 2024. We strongly believe in the importance of international students to the health of the UK university sector and the wider economy, contributing £42bn each year and underpinning the costs of teaching and research across a broad range of subjects. The report also finds that the policy environment created by the government is diminishing the competitiveness and prestige of UK business schools internationally.

Key findings from the report include:

Enrolment of non-EU international students is significantly down

The report highlights that for non-EU international students, enrolments for the January 2024 intake were lower for 76% of the responding schools compared to 12 months ago.

Enrolment figures are also down for EU students

For EU students many schools (41%) reported lower enrolments.

This data shows declining enrolments are part of an emerging trend in the sector

These results add to the troubling signs already uncovered in the 2023 edition of our Annual Membership Survey, which found that nearly one-third of the responding schools saw a fall in postgraduate enrolments for non-EU international students for courses starting in the autumn of 2023; a further deterioration from the 26% reduction in the autumn of 2022.

Our members believe the UK is a hostile environment for international students

Many of the survey responses voiced concern about the perception that the UK is a hostile environment for international students, with nine out of ten business school Deans responding to the survey agreed that recent government policy announcements were having an adverse impact on their school’s ability to recruit international students.

Postgraduate enrolments and MBAs are particularly impacted

The survey found that postgraduate enrolments are significantly lower for 60% of business schools compared to last year. Postgraduate programmes include the prolific MBA which attracts global professional talent, to the benefit of our universities and our economy. Some respondents highlighted that if this trend continues some programmes may have to be discontinued.

 

You can read the full report here