International students sing the UK's praises

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-06-01 17:30

International students studying at universities in the United Kingdom have ranked Britain as their most recommended destination for higher education.

According to a report by the advocacy organization Universities UK International, undergraduate and postgraduate students from overseas highlighted Britain as their top destination, in terms of support services and overall living experience.

International students also described the UK as "a good place to be".

The Chinese mainland came out in the survey as the main place from which the UK's foreign students originated, with 91,125 attending schools in Britain. Chinese mainland students outnumbered students from Malaysia, the country with the second-largest cohort, by five-to-one.

Students from the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, and those from the United States and India were the other areas sending large numbers of students to the UK.

The report noted that overseas students bring "great benefits to the UK, such as enhancing the experience of domestic students, developing the UK's international networks and reputation, and boosting national and local economies".

Spending by international students and their visitors, both on campus and of, generates 25.8 billion pounds ($33.06 billion) a year for the British economy, while supporting 206,600 jobs.

Although the US comes out as the overall top destination among overseas students, the UK remains the second-most popular study destination in the world.

Some 438,000 students were enrolled in UK higher education institutions in the last academic year, which was 12.5 percent of the world's total population of overseas students.

During the past decade, there has been a 28 percent increase in the number of foreign students choosing to study in Britain.

The top subject international students chose to study was business and administration, which attracted almost twice the number of students that signed up for the second-favorite subject; engineering and technology. They were followed by social studies and subjects allied to medicine.

Vivienne Stern, Universities UK International director, said: "The UK's world-leading universities are becoming increasingly global in nature. This amplifies their success and contribution to the UK economy and society. The extensive international networks and experience of our university staff and students will be especially valuable as the UK leaves the European Union and establishes new relationships around the world."

But the report did warn British universities not to become complacent because countries including Australia, France, and Germany have been catching up in terms of their numbers of international students.

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