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UK: EU undergraduate applications drop

 A record number of non-EU students applied and have been accepted into undergraduate programs at UK universities in 2017, however EU student numbers have declined, the latest UCAS statistics have revealed.

"It is a very positive message that so many talented students from across the globe continue to want to come and study here"

According to the UCAS End of Cycle Report, there were 699,850 applicants in the 2017 cycle, a decrease of 2.6% (18,500) from the 2016 figures.

UK-based applicants made up 82%, with EU comprising 7%, and those outside the EU 11%.

The report revealed that applications for undergraduate study from non-EU applicants increased by 2.8% to 76,380, the highest on record for this group.

Applicants domiciled in the UK decreased by 3.1% in 2017 to 572,285, while applicants from the EU decreased by 4.4% to 51,185.

The report showed that the number of acceptances followed a similar trend, with a decrease in acceptances from EU students and an increase in acceptances from those outside the EU.

Non-EU applicants increased by 2.8% to 76,380, an increase of 2,090 on 2016 figures

There were 2,535 (-0.5%) fewer acceptances from applicants based in the UK in the 2017 cycle, while acceptances from those in EU decreased by 2.1% (-650) to 30,700.

Acceptances from outside the EU increased by 5% (up 1,900) to 40,245, the highest recorded level for this group.

Combined international acceptances onto UK undergrad programs grew by 1.8% to 70,945, marking the fifth consecutive year that international acceptances have increased.

Responding to the report, head of policy at the Russell Group Sarah Stevens said: It is a very positive message that so many talented students from across the globe continue to want to come and study here, attracted by the world-class teaching and research that our universities provide.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation regarding applications from EU countries. If it turns out that the fall in places this year is due to the continuing uncertainty posed by Brexit, it reinforces our call for the government to provide greater clarity for EU students coming to the UK.

“In particular, [the government] should confirm at the earliest opportunity the fee and other financial support EU undergraduates and postgraduates might be eligible for from 2019/20 onwards as well as arrangements to stay for further study or work after graduation.” 

Further releases of data from the End of Cycle Report 2017 will be available in the coming weeks.

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