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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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International (non-EU) students

International (non-EU) students made up 12 per cent of all full-time undergraduate entrants to English higher education providers in 2015-16.

Key facts

12 per cent of UG entrants are from outside the EU, 2016-17

2.5 per cent increase in Chinese UGs, 2016-17

China is by some distance the single biggest source of international students. In 2015-16 there were 15,400 Chinese students on undergraduate courses, which was an increase an increase of 2.5 per cent on the previous year.

In contrast, there were declines in the number of undergraduate entrants from each of the next six largest markets for international students. These falls range from 2.8 per cent from India and Singapore to 10 per cent from Norway.

Over a longer period, the trend in international students is more positive, but varies across international markets. Since 2010-11, there have been large increases in entrants from a number of South and East Asian countries, with growth from China (16 per cent), Malaysia (39 per cent), Singapore (53 per cent) and Hong Kong (56 per cent). However, the number of entrants from the Asian subcontinent has declined, with falls from India (32 per cent), Pakistan (35 per cent) and Sri Lanka (83 per cent). The number of entrants from Saudi Arabia has also halved.

Page last updated 2 March 2017