A record hike in the number of Indian students choosing London universities has resulted in India regaining the third spot in the UK capital’s overseas students tally, after China and the US. According to an analysis of new data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) released on Wednesday, Indian student numbers in London grew by 34.7 per cent in 2018-19, marking the largest numbers since 2011-12.
India’s rise up one rank comes at the expense of Italy, which slips one place down to fourth, followed by France in fifth place – marking a promising rise of students from outside the European Union (EU) ahead of Brexit Day on Friday.
"It marks an impressive period of growth for India, which returned to being London’s third largest international student market after falling to fourth position three years earlier," said London and Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency. "Applications may have been encouraged by the recent reintroduction of the two-year post-study visa for international students by the UK government, allowing overseas graduates a longer period of time to look for employment after their studies,” it noted. The data reveals the total number of international students at London’s universities in 2018-19 was 125,035, up 5.8 per cent from 2017-18 and a rise on last year’s growth rate of 5.3 per cent.
China remains London’s largest international student market, with 25,650 students enrolled at universities in the UK capital. The US saw growth of 5.8 per cent to maintain its rank of second place with 7,460 students, followed by India at 7,158 students.
The top five is completed with Italy at 5,625 students, down 1.2 per ce nt over the previous year, and France at 4,650, up 3.9 per cent. “I’m delighted to see so many young people from across the world choosing London to pursue their higher education. In doing so, they’re becoming part of a global community that has produced some of the world’s most exciting and innovative companies,” said Rajesh Agrawal, the Indian-origin Deputy Mayor of London.
“With its world-leading universities, thriving business ecosystem and unrivalled cultural landscape, studying in London offers the opportunity to be part of a city at the forefront of creativity and innovation,” he said.
London and Partners also highlighted that the UK capital holds the crown as the world’s best city for students, according to the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, by global education consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds.
London beat international cities Tokyo (2nd) and Melbourne (3rd) to first place for the second consecutive year in July 2019. Lalage Clay, Director of Education and Talent at London & Partners which runs Study London, said: “These new figures are a resounding endorsement of our world-leading universities and our great city. "
"Whether it’s fashion or financial economics, accountancy or art history, prospective international students know when they choose London, they are choosing a first-class education and a cultural experience like no other. We look forward to welcoming more international students to the capital this year," Clay said.
Study London is the official international student guide to London run by London & Partners to help overseas prospective students with the information they need about London’s universities and courses.