The talk about crisis in international student numbers in the UK and the US six months ago, may have been al little premature. The UK and the US are the major destinations for overseas students but due to stricter visa regulations after 9/11 and the London Bombings, the number of foreign students were dropping. Australia remained a popular destination and continental Europe slightly increased its position.
The NYT and the Guardian now report that the students are slowly returning. British universities recruited 6% more students from outside the UK last year. Although good news for university bank balances, the rate of increase slowed compared to the previous year. China still supplies by a large margin the biggest group of overseas students – including postgraduates – followed by India, the United States, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
A survey in the US found that the number of students applying for graduate programmes increased from 11% from the year before. Despite the increase, the number of applications remained lower than in the years before 2003. The number of foreign students applying declined by 28 percent in 2003-4, a previous survey showed, and by an additional 5 percent in the following academic year.