The latest report from UCAS “Where next? The experience of international students connecting to UK higher education” shows students' opinions of the UK as well as the influence of COVID on application processes. Here are some of the key findings from the report.
Based on the survey conducted in 2020 and 2021, the report reveals that top factors motivating international students to study in the UK are the prestige of UK universities (47%), the desire to live in the UK (45%), teaching quality (43% overall – with 36% of undergraduates and 49% of postgraduates indicating this as priority).
In the survey conducted in 2021 that focuses on the application experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
According to the report, 142,925 students from outside the UK applied through UCAS in 2021, with 70,005 of them being accepted at the conclusion of the cycle. Undergraduate applications from outside the EU increased by 12%. With 30,845 applications and 16,310 placements during the 2021 application cycle, China is the top market for foreign student recruiting in the UK.
The top three routes through which applicants applied to pursue undergraduate study in the UK in 2019/20 are “Yourself through UCAS/ucas.com” (58%), “Via an education agent or professional adviser” (41%), and “Directly to the institution/university” (10%).
According to the report, the selection of a university, deciding on housing, and seeking assistance on funding, scholarships, and bursaries are the most difficult aspects of the application and decision-making process for students across all application routes.
However, many students also wonder what subject suits them the most before applying to universities or whether they have what it takes to strive in competitive courses like medicine, law or economics; thus we encourage everyone to explore their interests and weigh in all contributing application factors before making a decision. It is always beneficial to plan ahead.
Norton House has extensive experience helping students apply to study in the UK, both undergraduate and graduate. If you need our professional advice in application and admission, please don’t hesitate to contact us.