Visa Crunch

United Kingdom: Wales Among The Top International Study Destination, 19% Rise In Admissions

Wales remains an appealing option for international students, according to stakeholders, despite UCAS data showing a 19 per cent increase in the number of students accepting places in a single year.

According to UCAS data, 1,875 undergraduate non-European Union international students accepted places at Welsh universities in the most recent admissions cycle in 2021, a 19% increase over the previous year. Moreover, the number of EU applicants accepting places through UCAS has dropped to 370 in 2021, down from 1,115 in 2020.

Global Wales, an international collaboration between Universities Wales, the Welsh government, the British Council Wales, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, noted that the increase was one of the largest among UK nations and is “part of a broader positive trend”.

The total number of applicants accepted by Welsh universities, including domestic students, is up 1.5 per cent from the same point last year, according to the organization. In 2021, a record 11,625 English applicants accepted places at the country’s universities.

“Against the backdrop of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is highly encouraging to see that international enrolments have remained strong and international applications have increased across Wales,” Iwan Davies, chair of Global Wales said.

“This is thanks to the flexibility and innovative approaches developed by universities, and the warm welcome and excellent student experience that all students can expect to receive at our institutions“.

The recent UCAS figures show a “continued strong demand for higher education in Wales”, stated Elizabeth Treasure, Chair of Universities Wales. “The university experience offers a wide range of benefits for students: not just in employment prospects but also in the wider social and cultural opportunities that our institutions offer. It is great to see a record number of young people continue to value these opportunities”.

With the goal of increasing overseas students numbers in the country to 30,000 by 2030, the collaboration is also looking to diversify the country’s international student body.

According to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data from 2019/20, there were 21,990 international students in the country, with 5,805 of them coming from the EU. The United States, India, and Vietnam have been designated as priority countries, with the EU being designated as a fourth priority region in 2021.

“Global Wales provides an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of our universities while also supporting Wales to define its role on the world stage,” Davies added.

“With the project’s continued support, I am confident that Welsh universities will remain on track to achieve their aim of growing international student numbers to 30,000 by 2030.”

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