Login to Members Area

Overwhelming majority of international students don’t want to move permanently

3 June 2013

Study UK has responded to a new report on the decision making processes of prospective international students to the UK. Read the report, produced by leading educational solutions company Hobsons, here (please note that the details collected by Hobsons in order for you to access the download will be used to invite those that have read the report to follow up webinar hosted by Adrian Mitchell, their Head of Research and Reporting, who ran the survey).

Key findings of the report are that only 6% of the over 5000 students who responded indicated that their primary motivation for study in the UK was permanent settlement, while 88% said that the tightening of visa regulations could cause them to switch destination country. The report confirms that the main countries also considered by students looking to study in the UK are the US, Canada and Australia – the last two of which have both introduced government initiatives to attract more international students, in contrast with the UK government’s commitment to reducing net migration figures including international students.

Paul Kirkham, Communications Director for Study UK, said:

“The findings of this report strongly suggest that international students should not be included in the government’s migration count, as their primary motivation for wanting to study in the UK is to improve job prospects in their home country. The report also demonstrates the huge impact that additional visa restrictions can have in discouraging international students, including restrictions on the ability to work whilst studying. This issue is particularly important to the independent education sector as, frustratingly, international students at independent colleges have no working rights at all, even though these independent providers are now subject to the same regulatory control as the publicly-funded sector.

“The government has itself demonstrated the value of international students to the UK economy, as a BIS report from June 2011 estimated that the income to the UK from international student tuition fees is worth over £4 billion alone. Study UK remains concerned that, by targeting international students as part of its drive against net migration, the government risks doing real damage not only to the education sector but to the UK economy as a whole. As this report demonstrates, countries in competition with the UK are only too happy to open their doors to the wealth of cultural and economic benefits that international students bring.”


Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our Study UK News RSS feed or email notifications. By subscribing you will receive a notification in your web browser or RSS reader when a new entry is posted here. Find out more about RSS feeds.

Study UK news & events