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UK universities see 30% increase in Chinese applicants

New data from UCAS has revealed that the number of UK university applicants from China has increased by 30% for the 2019/2020 academic year to 19,760, overtaking the 18,520 applicants from Northern Ireland.

EU UCAS applicants have increased by 1% in 2019/20, while non-EU ones rose by 8%. Photo: Pixabay

New data from UCAS has revealed that the number of UK university applicants from China has increased by 30%.

The UK is the second most popular destination for Chinese students seeking a university education abroad after the US, which is becoming viewed as less attractive destination due to new visa restrictions and warnings from the Chinese Ministry of Education.

“The global appeal of UK higher education has never been clearer, with record, demographic beating application rates in England and Wales, and the steep rise in international applications, especially from China,” said Clare Marchant, UCAS’ chief executive, in a statement on the findings.

“The global appeal of UK higher education has never been clearer”

According to the report, applications from within the EU and elsewhere increased by 1% and 8%, respectively.

While many countries saw a rise in the number of students applying to UK universities, applications from the Nordic countries decreased, along with those of Germany and Hong Kong.

Yet despite the increasing numbers of international students, some have noted a change in attitudes since the Brexit vote, according to sources who spoke with The PIE.

“I was surprised at how things have changed over the past few years… People have become quite unfriendly towards one another since Brexit,” one Chinese student at a London university told us.

“But I do like the research atmosphere in the UK and the traditions of freedom.”

The number of Chinese students at UK universities has increased annually over the last few years. The reported figure is also slightly lower than the total amount as not all students apply to universities through UCAS.

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