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LONDON: Australia is on the verge of overtaking the UK as the second most popular destination for international students, new research reveals.
Centre for Global Higher Education has published a report which states that UK, which currently attracts the second-highest number of international students after the US, is likely to be overtaken by Australia and fall to third place. It may have already happened, it states.
Professor Simon Marginson, director of CGHE, based at the UCL Institute of Education in London, who authored the report, said: “The UK government has held down the growth of international student numbers for five years by limiting new student numbers and post-study work visas.” He found there has been little growth in the number of international students entering the UK since 2012. While the number of international students entering the US rose by 30% from 2011-15, the UK experienced an increase of less than 3% during the same period. The figures are borne out by the sharp drop in the number of Indians coming to study in the UK which has fallen by 60% from its peak of 23,970 in 2010-2011 to 9,720 in 2016-2017 following the discontinuation of the post-study work visa in 2012. “Indian students have been welcomed by Australia, and more so aggressively ever since the UK over the last five years has been consistently sending confusing messages out…Australia has been successful in attracting a much more significant base of Indian students,” said Sanam Arora, chairperson of Nisau, a UK-based Indian student group, which is campaigning for a review of the UK’s overseas student immigration policies.