Enquiries from European Students Almost Triple, In Line with Overall Enquiry Growth

Trump and Brexit were indisputably the biggest two stories for the Education community over the past twelve months. Both are expected to have an impact on International Student Migration patterns over the coming years. As far as Brexit’s concerned, we thought we’d take a look at our data for this season so far, to assess the extent to which European students are still showing an interest in UK accommodation.

We examined enquiries from European students after check-in (18th September 2016) until December 31st 2016 and compared that with the exact same period a year prior. Enquiries from European students about UK accommodation listed on Student.com almost tripled during that period, in line with the increased demand Student.com is experiencing from students all over the world.

Although it’s clearly early in the season to make conclusive statements about European enrolments, the fact that we haven’t seen any marked decrease in European interest could be encouraging news for European student flow to the UK this year.

Over 30 different European nationalities registered interest in the UK as a study destination, with most enquiries from students in France (28%), Italy (15%), Spain (15%) and Germany (12%).

While London’s universities continue to be the most popular choice for both European and Asian students, we are delighted to observe increasing interest in the best of Britain’s university towns. Each with their unique blend of historic buildings, contemporary attractions, and of course world class educational institutions, it’s no wonder students from Marseille to Milan are being lured to cities outside the capital.

Top 10 Cities: Sept-Dec 2016 Top 10 Cities: Sept-Dec 2015
1. London 1. London
2. Glasgow 2. Edinburgh
3. Edinburgh 3. Manchester
4. Nottingham 4. Birmingham
5. Birmingham 5. Glasgow
6. Manchester 6. Liverpool
7. Liverpool 7. Bristol
8. Bristol 8. Oxford
9. Cambridge 9. Cambridge
10. Sheffield 10. Nottingham

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reports that 436,585 overseas students came to the UK to study in 2014/15. The majority of these students are from Asia, however 124,575 (28.5%) are non-UK European Union students. HESA states that most overseas students pursue studies in Business and Administration (38.4%), with Engineering and Technology second (33.1%), and Law third (26.3%). HESA notes no significant difference in the gender of non-UK students coming to the UK (Male 51% : Female 49%). Student.com enquiries are also split evenly between male and female students.

Despite this year’s government guarantee on fees and loans for European students, the British Higher Education sector has expressed significant concern over the potential drop in European applications on the heels of the Brexit vote. Both government policy on European students, as well as overseas admissions data will be under intense scrutiny over the next few years.

For our part at Student.com, we will continue to monitor the data closely.