In a move to withdraw financial dependency on China by UK universities, the conservatives have called for caps on number of international students from any one country. A recent report states that UK universities rely on overseas students that offer £5.8 billion annually out of which £2.1 billion is estimated to come from Chinese students. The number of Chinese students enrolling in UK universities saw a significant rise since the mid-90‘s and it is feared that UK universities are worryingly dependent on Chinese students for their finances, undermining their long term sustainability.
While countries such has Australia, USA have expressed concerns over Chines international students in regard to both financial and security reasons, Canada has opted for diversified policy in their overseas students education plans. A third of UK universities funding comes from China and the Chinese government in recent times have demonstrated to block students flow in response to criticisms.
Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russel Group said that they have grown UK student numbers alongside international students and will continue to welcome the most talented students and staff regardless of nationality and are working with government to maintain their standing as a globally attractive destination for students from the widest range of countries.
The new graduate visa will help the Universities in UK to compete for students from around the world including countries like India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Africa, which will be a significant market for quality higher education in the coming days.
Concerns of International students
Institutions were cautioned to bolster their finances in case of a dip in Chinese students; however, the researchers at the Centre for Global Higher Education said the majority of the Chinese students with letter of acceptance in the UK still intend to study abroad as planned. It was noted that most of the international students were more concerned about safety than geopolitical issues like Huawei’s 5G contracts in the UK. The common concerns were about the format of courses in the upcoming academic year, tuition fees, English Language Test, Student Visa Applications.
We got to acknowledge that international education is always going to be linked with ties between countries; the global impact of the Coronavirus cannot be ignored. The political tensions between US and China are going to be significant and it will be interesting to see how things turn out in the coming days.
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