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Foreign students apply to UK in record numbers: official figures

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-06 17:15

LONDON - The number of foreign students applying to British universities has hit a record high, despite warnings about the impact of the Brexit vote on higher education, the first British official figures for the year showed on Monday.

More than 100,000 European Union (EU) and overseas candidates have applied to take up places this autumn, the official figures said.

British institutions are facing a 2.5 percent drop in the number of 18-year-olds in Britain compared with last year, resulting in unprecedented numbers of unconditional offers to candidates of all abilities.

The figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) showed that application rates reached a record high, increasing by 0.3 percentage points to 37.1 percent of their peers.

After last year's slump in applications from European students in the aftermath of the EU referendum and widespread uncertainty over funding, British universities report the upturn in numbers received by January's deadline for undergraduate entries.

Fears that Brexit could harm applications from outside the EU were also allayed, with the UCAS data showing a rising number of applications from countries such as China and India.

The number of applications from China increased by more than 2,000, a 20 percent increase on 2017, the figures said.

There was even a surge in applications from Mexico, up 52 percent on the previous year, which at least one admissions officer attributed to Donald Trump's presidency making the US a less attractive destination for international students.

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