UK “likely” to be overtaken by Australia

The UK is likely to lose its position as the second most popular study abroad destination to Australia, according to a paper published by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

“What we are seeing is a seismic shift in the global student market. UK higher education is still highly valued internationally, but the government has held down the growth of international student numbers for five years, by limiting new student numbers and post-study work visas,” author and CGHE chair Simon Marginson said.

“Unless UK policy changes tack, the nation will continue to lose global market share. When the data for 2018 come in, it is possible that Australia will have already passed the UK in total international student numbers,” Marginson said.

While Australia will be the beneficiary on the global stage, in Europe the Netherlands, Germany and France will most probably host most of the EU students that the UK is likely to lose after Brexit.

Marginson also predicted that Canada, whose student numbers are rising at a fast rate, could eventually overtake the UK and relegate it in fourth position

Australia hosted 624,001 students in 2017 according to the Department of Education and Training, and figures covering the period January-April 2018 indicate a 12% growth from last year.