Study in the UK: Sharp drop of Eastern European undergraduate applicants for places at UK universities

Sharp drop of Eastern European undergraduate applicants for places at UK universities Verbalists Education Beyond Borders Podcast

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Study in the UK Education News: UK is missing out on talent as eastern European enrolment plummets

25-FEB-2022 | According to figures released by UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in the UK, there are significantly fewer Eastern European undergraduate applicants for places at UK universities in 2021 than in recent previous years. This fall in applicants is not seen across Europe, as study visas from countries such as France, Germany and Spain are relatively robust.

Study in the UK, Verbalists
Study in the UK: “The sharp drop in Eastern European applicants makes UK campuses less diverse.”

Speaking about the greatly reduced numbers of Eastern Europeans applying to study in the UK, Nick Hillman, the director of the UK Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “The sharp drop in Eastern European applicants makes UK campuses less diverse and reflects weakening ties with countries with which the UK has historic links. Sadly, it also suggests that you really need to be from relatively wealthy Western Europe if you want to have a high chance of studying in the United Kingdom.” He also added that English language skills of “young Eastern Europeans are often second to none.”

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings reports that it is not clear yet whether the drop in numbers is due to Brexit and the now-necessary study visas, along with higher tuition fees and the end of government-backed student loans, or the Covid-19 pandemic, or it may even be a combination of all of these. However, it does seem clear that fewer students are applying to study in the UK from Eastern and Central European countries which have lower GDPs, such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.


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