Overseas students turn back on UK study

28 Sep 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Almost a third of international students who considered studying at a UK university decided not to, with the UK’s attitude towards overseas students and the reduction of opportunities after graduation among their main reasons, according to a new survey.

The Hobsons International Student Survey spoke to 45,000 students planning to study abroad. It found 32 per cent of those who had looked at studying in the UK had decided to go elsewhere.

The difficulties in working in Britain after completing their studies on a student visa topped the list for rejecting places at a UK university. Some 36 per cent said this was why they opted to study in another country. In addition, 22.5 per cent turned away from the UK because of the country’s attitude towards international students.

Germany was the most popular choice of destination for those who had looked at UK universities and decided against applying for a UK student visa.

The report said: “Germany famously operates a very liberal ‘post-study work’ regime – automatically allowing graduates to live and work in Germany for 18 months after graduation.

“Other EU countries are actively mimicking the German approach, with France this year signing a bilateral deal with India – for example – to provide two-year post-study work visas for international students who graduate.”

However, the UK’s scheme for post-study work visas was removed in 2012 and students now see Britain as a nation where it is difficult for them to find work experience, the report said. It added that this was “likely to be a contributing factor to the relative decline in the UK’s popularity as a place to study”.

The study was published as Edinburgh University began a campaign on social media to attract more international students to the Scottish capital.