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International students in UK satisfied, will recommend country to others

UK is the second most popular study destination in the world, after the US. Source: Shutterstock

Almost all international undergraduate and postgraduate students in universities in United Kingdom are satisfied, ranking the country as the best in terms of support services and overall living experience, a new guide by Universities UK International (UUKi) revealed last week.

These students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other country for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

And while the nation loses out to only the United States in terms of popularity, it remains the second most popular study destination in the world, with 438,010 students enrolled in UK universities for the 2015/16 academic year, 12.5 percent of the world’s total.

The guide, however, cautions UK universities against complacency. Countries like the US, Australia, France and Germany are catching up as their international student cohorts grow faster than the UK’s.

Positive aspects dominate international students’ experience in the UK – the annual publication found overseas student described the UK as “a good place to be” and are very satisfied with the welcome they receive.

“This is a crucial aspect of the UK experience which we must continue to uphold,” Universities UK’s blog post wrote.

The annual guide noted compared to a decade ago, there has been a 28 percent increase in this particular cohort of students heading over to the UK.

China is the top country of student origin with 91,125 students, more than five times the number of students sent by Malaysia, which sends the second biggest cohort of its nationals to the UK. The US, Hong Kong and India rounded up the top five countries of origin.

More than half (51 percent) of the international students in the UK come from just 10 countries, whereas almost two-thirds (63 percent) of students in postgraduate courses are from abroad.

Business and Administrative Studies takes top spot as international students’ subject area of choice, with the number of enrollments to the course more than twice of the second favourite subject, Engineering and Technology, followed by Social Sciences, Subjects Allied to Medicine, and Creative Arts and Design.

In money terms, international students were found to generate £25.8 billion (US$33.06 billion) for the UK’s economy via on and off-campus spending by them and by those visiting them, supporting 206,600 jobs.

“The analysis in this booklet shows the UK’s world leading universities are becoming increasingly global in nature,” UUKi director Vivienne Stern wrote in the guide.

“This amplifies their success and contribution to the UK economy and society.”

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