Youssef El-maneaJuly 11th

According to official statistics taken from UCAS’s June deadlines for applications, the number of Chinese students applying for places at British universities have surpassed those from Northern Ireland for the first time in history.

The data, which was revealed this month by The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), shows that the number of applicants from China for degrees commencing in Autumn increased by 30% to 19,760, while the number of applicants from Northern Ireland decreased by 4% to 18,520.

The number of applications from outside the European Union surged by 8% on last year – totaling 81,340 applications. Despite fears over Brexit, there’s has been a 1% rise in EU applicants – experts suggest that this increase is largely down to the depreciation of the pound since the EU referendum vote; Britain could now be regarded as a 'cheaper' place to study.


Interestingly, the statistics also show that the number of young people from the UK applying to British universities has also increased by 1% – even with the 1.9% fall in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK population.

Explaining these developments, Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, stated: “The global appeal of UK higher education has never been clearer, with record, demographic-beating application rates in England and Wales, and the steep rise in international applications, especially from China.”


While Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute think tank, added: “Chinese students appreciate our world-class universities, want to learn in English and have benefited from the reduction in the value of the pound since 2016.

"It is fantastic that so many Chinese students want to come here because they make our universities better and more diverse."

Stories like this