About 50% of international applicants to universities in the United Kingdom did not feel completely ready to start the current academic year, a new report named “Where next? The experience of international students connecting to UK higher education” conducted by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), has revealed.
According to the report, 77 per cent of the surveyed students applied to UK universities because of the UK’s academic reputation, while for 53 per cent, the main reasons to choose the country to study are diversity, multicultural experience, and the welcome they would receive.
“88% of international applicants continue to see the UK as a positive or very positive place to study. 63% of applicants also believe the UK is a better option compared to other countries they considered applying to,” the report reads.
47 per cent of international students choose to study in the United Kingdom because of the prestige of UK universities, 45 per cent because of the desire to live in the UK, 43 per cent because of the teaching quality that country’s universities offer, with 36 per cent of undergraduate and 49 per cent of postgraduates indicating this as the key reason.
UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant stressed that international students choose the United Kingdom as their study destination due to its world-class academic offering and opportunities to live and learn in a diverse society.
“As part of UCAS’ trusted and independent role, we want to provide the valued information students need to make truly informed decisions as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. Myriad by UCAS builds on our success of being the largest, single route for international students coming to the UK by providing accessible information on the topics that really matter when deciding to study in another country,” Marchant said.
72 per cent of international students in the UK said that they needed more information about what their year would look like and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, 71 per cent of domestic students for 2022 said they want more information and guidance.
During the 2021 application cycle, a total of 142,925 international students applied to UK universities through UCAS, of which 70,005 were placed by the end of the cycle.
The majority of international applicants in the United Kingdom during the 2021 application cycle were from China. Currently, the country is the third-largest market for UK higher education.
In order to support the International Education Strategy, UCAS has announced it is developing a new platform to increase the diversity in applicants to postgraduate studies.