Saturday, November 30, 2019

Pakistani F1 Student Enrollment in US Rising at Slowest Rate in 5 Years

Enrollment of Pakistani students on US F1 visa rose just 5.6% to 7,957 in 2018/19, the slowest rate in 5 years. It's in sharp contrast to 27% jump in Pakistani student enrollment to 28,000 in China this year.

Pakistani F1 Students in US. Source: IIE 

Rate of increase in Pakistani students on F-1 visas declined to 5.6%, down from 8.5% in 2014/15 and 14.7% in 2015/16. However, the total number of Pakistani students on F1 visa in the United States has climbed from 5,354 to 7,957. Enrollment of international students from Pakistan on F1 visa declined from a peak of nearly 9,000 in 2001/02 to a low of 4,600 in 2011/12.

US Non-Immigrant Visa Rejection Rates. Source US State Dept via Quartz India 

Total number of foreign students studying in the United States is nearly 1.1 million, the largest in the world. China hosts nearly 492,000 foreign students. New international student enrollment is declining in the US while it is rapidly climbing in China.

Pakistan (7,957) now ranks 22nd among nations sending students to study in the United States.  China (369,548), India (202,014), South Korea (52.250), Saudi Arabia (37,080) and Canada (26,122) occupy the top 5 positions in terms of the number of international students in the United States.

Number of foreign students in the United States from various countries of origin is heavily skewed by visa refusal rates. 48% of applications from Pakistan for non-immigrant travel visa to the United States, including F-1 student visa, are rejected, a much higher rate than 27% refusals in India. Highest refusal rates are for applicants from Somalia (90.2%) and Iran (87.7%). The lowest are in Argentina (1.7%) and Liechtenstein ( 0%).

In China, South Korea is the leading sender with 50,600 students enrolled in 2018, followed by Thailand (28,600 students), and, in a virtual tie for second place, Pakistan and its 28,000 students in Chinese institutions and schools last year. Rounding out the top five source countries are India (23,200 students in 2018) and the US (21,000 students).

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Rapid Growth of China-Pakistan Educational, Scientific and Cultural Ties 

China-Pakistan Strategic Ties

US and China Compete For Influence in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Defense Tech Cooperation Irks West

Pakistan-Russia-China vs India-Japan-US

Pakistan Rising or Falling? Myth Vs Reality

Facts and Myths About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

China Emerges as Top Destination for Pakistanis Studying Abroad

Sec Hagel: India Using Afghanistan to Launch Attacks in Pakistan

Ex Indian Spy Documents RAW's Successes Against Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Terry A. said...

Interesting Statistics on the # of students from other countries studying in the USA & China…….so a bit puzzling are the facts that there are so many more students from China studying in the USA ( 370 K ) whereas only 21K students from the USA are
Studying in China ?……..Wonder how many of these 370K studying in the USA are funded by the Govt of China and how many are paying their own way from private funds or loans ?

Another interesting Fact is that from. 2008 to 2016 the Govt of China stashed away at least 4 - 5 Trillion U.S $$ in Profits, into their Bank Accounts mainly due to the huge discrepancy in Tariffs charged ( China charging the USA an average of 25% whereas the USA only Charging China a paltry average of 3 % ) for at least the past 20-25 years or more ?………..this also has some correlation to the US National Debt which skyrocketed from 6 - 7 Trillion to almost 18 - 19 Trillion from 2008 to 2016 - ?

Conclusion is obvious that the USA has the Best University Educational Institutions in the World ………& I don’t see any other country threatening the Superior education at U.S Universities anytime in the near future ( 10-15 years )

Mayraj F. said...

US is ridiculously expensive and not worth it now unless go to an elite university.

I think way treating adjuncts is big downside of US.

Riaz Haq said...

Applications for non-immigrant travel #visa to #US, including F-1 #student visa, are rejected at rejected at much a higher rate in #Pakistan 48% than in #India 26%. Highest refusals: #Somalia 90.2%, #Iran 87.7%. Lowest: #Argentina 1.7%, #Liechtenstein 0%

Nearly 6.4 million people came to the United States on a B visa in 2017. This common visa type—B-1, for business travel; B-2, for tourism; or the combo B-1/B-2, for a bit of both—is issued for short-term travel to the US. If you plan to attend business meetings or conferences, spend a week on vacation in Hawaii or Florida, or visit family in the US, this is the visa you’re likely to need.

Not everyone requires one, of course. Citizens of 38 countries are eligible for the ESTA visa waiver system, allowing them to bypass ordinary visa requirements for short-term business or tourist travel. They are mostly rich nations in Europe and Asia.

But despite how common the B visa is, getting one isn’t as easy as it might appear. Applicants must pay a fee, apply online, and then attend an in-person interview, where they’ll be grilled on what their plans are, where they’ll be going, and—crucially—when they plan to leave the US. Processing time from there can take as much as two months.

Even then, many people find their applications rejected. In fiscal year 2018—which ran from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018—B visa applicants from around 50 countries were more likely to have their application refused than accepted. For citizens of Somalia, the refusal rate was more than 90%, with only 38 Somalis granted a B visa (pdf).

The table below shows the refusal rates for each country with at least 10 visas issued in fiscal year 2018, according to data from the US Department of State (pdf). The overall refusal rate, including countries with 10 or fewer visas issued, was 32.4%.

Riaz Haq said...

Number of Pakistani students studying in US increased by 5.6 percent during 2018-19.
Pakistan sent 7,957 students to USA in 2018-19, as compared to 7,537 students sent last year.

The numbers showed a slight increase in total international enrollment, 0.05% from the previous year, but a decrease in new international student enrollment, -0.9%.

Decreases were seen in undergraduate (-2.4%), graduate (-1.3%) and non-degree (-5.0%) trends, as well.

China sent the most students -- 369,548 -- comprising 33.7 percent of all foreign students, a 1.7 percent increase from the previous year.

India sent the second-largest number -- 202,014 -- or 18.4% of all college and university students, a 2.9% increase from the previous year.

But several other countries, in descending order of number of students sent to the U.S., showed declines: South Korea (-4.2%), Saudi Arabia (-16.5%), Canada (0.8%), Vietnam (0.3%), Taiwan (4.1%), Japan (-3.5%), Brazil (9.8%), Mexico (-1.5%), Nigeria (5.8%), Nepal (-0.3%), Iran (-5.0%), the United Kingdom (-2.7%), Turkey (-3.4%), Kuwait (-9.8%), Germany (-8.5%), France (-1.0%), Indonesia (-3.4%), Bangladesh (10%), Colombia (1.1%), Pakistan (5.6%), Venezuela (-7.3%), Malaysia (-6.8%) and Spain (-3.0%).

Riaz Haq said...

US-Pakistan Agreement to Support 125 Pakistani PhD students | The Academia

In a step toward expanding U.S.-Pakistan educational cooperation, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support 125 Pakistanis to pursue PhD studies in the United States, 25 per year for five years. The MoU extends an agreement that funded 125 Fulbright-HEC PhD scholarships between 2016 and 2020. Acting HEC Chairman Dr. Shaista Sohail and USEFP Executive Director Ms. Rita Akhtar signed the MoU on June 16, through which the Government of Pakistan will contribute USD 5 million per year to the Fulbright-HEC PhD Program.

Fulbright is the flagship scholarship program of the U.S. Department of State, operating in 165 countries. Since 2005, Pakistan has had the world’s largest Fulbright Program in terms of U.S. government financial contribution, with approximately 100 master’s and 25 PhD scholarships funded annually. The HEC-USEFP MoU funds an additional 25 PhDs per year, bringing the total to 50.

“This MoU provides funding for 125 exceptional Pakistanis to complete PhD programs at some of the best universities in the United States,” explained USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar. “It represents a spectacular contribution to the social and economic development of Pakistan as well as to mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. Our Fulbright grantees return to Pakistan to apply new skills and knowledge in every field and sector of Pakistan’s economy.”

According to U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires Les Viguerie, “The U.S.-Pakistan education partnership is among the best in the world, and the United States values the Pakistani students who enrich American campuses across our country.”

The Fulbright Program is a fully funded, merit-based program that provides the opportunity to conduct research and implement skills and ideas. The participants hail from different regions of Pakistan and study at leading universities in the United States.

USEFP is a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of the United States and Pakistan. Since its inception, more than 9,000 Pakistanis and over 935 Americans have participated in USEFP-managed exchange programs. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States through exchange programs.

Riaz Haq said...

The United States has been the country of choice for international students, hosting more than one million from around the world. Each year, the U.S. issues more than 300,000 new F-1 visas! China clearly dominates the field, receiving nearly 100K student visas each year. India is second on the list, followed by South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. All five countries for sending the largest number of foreign students to the U.S. are from Asia.

Pakistan ranks 25th with 1,965 F1 visas and 185 F2 visas in Fiscal Year 2018 (Oct 1 to Sept 30)

1 China - mainland 98,904(F1) 2,549(F2)
2 India 42,694 2,550
3 Korea, South 20,959 2,529
4 Vietnam 16,061 248
5 Japan 14,413 670
6 Brazil 13,288 4,751
7 Saudi Arabia 12,502 4,595
8 China - Taiwan 8,474 296
9 Mexico 7,015 431
10 Germany 6,239 80
11 France 5,491 113
12 Nigeria 5,365 646
13 Colombia 4,609 349
14 Russia 4,350 265
15 Great Britain and Northern Ireland 4,325 87
16 Spain 4,071 87
17 Turkey 3,778 245
18 Italy 3,703 95
19 Thailand 2,722 24
20 Hong Kong S.A.R. 2,493 45
21 Switzerland 2,450 33
22 Indonesia 2,351 170
23 Australia 2,327 68
24 Kuwait 1,989 232
25 Pakistan 1,965 185
26 Sweden 1,932 19
27 Bangladesh 1,920 623
28 Nepal 1,829 283
29 Singapore 1,803 88
30 Chile 1,772 434
31 Malaysia 1,722 42
32 Venezuela 1,672 179
33 Netherlands 1,632 17
34 Peru 1,594 80
35 Argentina 1,538 109
36 Ghana 1,494 163
37 Norway 1,489 25
38 Ecuador 1,477 83
39 Iran 1,433 210
40 Ethiopia 1,328 73
41 Panama 1,310 5
42 Kenya 1,285 73
43 Denmark 1,285 13
44 Burma 1,241 34
45 Kazakhstan 1,178 265
46 Egypt 1,108 266
47 South Africa 1,062 61
48 Israel 1,014 114
49 Jamaica 999 47
50 Philippines 944 55

Riaz Haq said...

U.S. Universities Engage Thousands of Pakistani Students as Interest in U.S. Higher Education Rises

Karachi – February 11, 2020: Amid rising Pakistani interest in U.S. higher education, representatives from 13 U.S. universities met thousands of Pakistani students during visits to schools, universities, and college fairs in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi as part of EducationUSA’s 16th South Asia Tour. Representatives of top universities from around the United States shared valuable information about their institutions’ academic programs, campus life, financial aid options, and application procedures.

As noted in the Institute of International Education’s 2019 Open Doors report, Pakistan is among the world’s fastest growing emerging market places of origin for students in the United States. The thousands of academic programs, world-class institutions, and unmatched flexibility of U.S. higher education make the United States the world’s premier destination for university students.

“Nearly 8,000 Pakistanis study at universities and colleges across the United States,” said Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Lisa Heller. “That is an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year, and we want that number to continue to rise further. The U.S. government is very proud to support the South Asia Tour, which will help Pakistani students choose a U.S. university. “

“Each year, the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) looks forward to hosting the South Asia Tour and introducing U.S. universities to Pakistan’s brilliant student body,” said Rita Akhtar, Executive Director of USEFP. “This year, for the first time, we are providing visiting representatives a chance to connect with Pakistani alumni and admitted students of their institutions. We’ve learned over the years that the personal connections forged during face-to-face conversations with representatives encourage more Pakistani students to enroll in U.S. colleges and universities.”

EducationUSA Pakistan is the only free and official source for higher education in the United States and a part of the U.S. Department of State’s network of more than 425 international student advising centers in more than 175 countries. Pakistan’s EducationUSA team is made up exclusively of U.S. graduates, allowing advisers to share firsthand experience with applicants. In Pakistan, EducationUSA is managed by USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the Governments of Pakistan and the United States.

To learn more about EducationUSA’s free advising services, please visit:

Riaz Haq said...

InternationalStudentPlaceof OriginRanking,2019/20
InternationalStudentEconomic Impact,2019*
U.S.StudyAbroad DestinationRanking,2018/19
*Source:EstimatecalculatedbyIEbasedoninformationfrom OpenDoorsandBureauofEconomicAnalysis,U.S.DepartmentofCommerce,
2019/20 7,939
2018/19 7,957
2017/18 7,537
2016/17 7,015
2015/16 6,141
2014/15 5,354
2013/14 4,935
2012/13 4,772
2011/12 4,600
2010/11 5,045

2016/17 % Ch%andgifef Students

-0.2 . 2018/19
5.6 . 2017/18
7.4 . 2016/17
14.2 . 2015/16
14.7 . 2014/15
8.5 . 2013/14
3.4 . 2012/13
3.7 . 2011/12
-8.8 . 2010/11
-3.4 . 2009/10
7 40.0Abc 5 -16.7Abc 6 0.0Abc 6 -40.0Abc
10 66.7Abc
6 -45.5Abc
11 175.0Abc
4 -71.4Abc
14 40.0Abc
10 100.0Abc 5 -
-. e
Source:TheOpenDoorsReportonInternationalEducationalExchangeisacomprehensiveinformationresourceoninternationalstudentsinthe UnitedStatesandU.S.studentsstudyingabroad.ItissponsoredbytheU.S.DepartmentofStatewithfundingprovidedbytheU.S.Governmentand ispublishedbyIE.Formoreinformation,
Year 2016/17 Calculation%3Change
StudentsfromPakistan intheU.S.
Undergraduate Graduate Non-degree OPT
3,505 3,296 41.5 -6.0 2,761 2,930 36.9 6.1 306 272 3.4 -11.1 1,385 1,441 18.2 4.0
U.S.StudentsStudying AbroadinPakistan
2010 2015 2020
2000 2005
A c a d e m ic 2 20 01 187/ /1 198 2 0 1 8 /1 9 % o f
2018/19 2019/20 % Total % Chang
Level Countr.

Riaz Haq said...

International Student Applications To U.S. Colleges Are Rebounding. Is It A Biden Bounce?

Although applications from China are down by 18% from last year, that loss is more than offset by large increases in applicants from several other countries; including India (+28%), Canada (+22%), Nigeria (+12%), Pakistan (+37%), the United Kingdom (+23%), and Brazil (+41%).


American colleges and universities had become accustomed to annual increases in applications from international students throughout much of the past two decades, but that came to a halt with the beginning of the Trump administration and its embrace of several policies on travel, visas, and financial aid that were seen as harmful to the interests of foreign students. Consequently, there was great interest in the 2020 presidential election among college officials, in part because of the prospects that a win by Joe Biden would result in the reversal of several of those policies.

That anticipation was confirmed in the first week of the new administration, when President Biden signed executive orders that:

ended the ban on travel to the U.S. from several majority-Muslim countries;
revoked a Trump policy that cracked down on “sanctuary” communities;
overturned Trump’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census;
reinstated DACA protections, a policy that Trump had tried to remove thereby leaving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children subject to deportation;
stopped funding and construction of Trump’s wall on the southern border of the U.S.

Now U.S. colleges are examining the best ways to respond to the possibility of a better international student market for the next few years, particularly with the availability of effective Covid-19 vaccines. Although China will probably remain the source of the largest number of students coming to the U.S., its growth may have plateaued.

As a result, colleges will begin to diversify their outreach to students in other countries. New emerging markets are there. Africa may be a prime opportunity, along with South American countries, and India, which already ranks second to China as the home country of students traveling to America for college. Other good prospects in that neighborhood include Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

U.S. Universities Look For International Student Enrollment To Recover This Fall

Compared to 2019-20, the volume of international applicants has increased by about 9% this year according to data from the Common App, as of January 22. Most of the top “sending” countries are showing increases, with the notable exception of China, the leading source of international students. But that decrease has been more than offset by substantial increases from countries like India, Canada, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Riaz Haq said...

For US Visa, Over 2-Year Wait For New Delhi, Just 2 Days For Beijing
There's an appointment wait-time of 833 days for applications from Delhi and 848 days from Mumbai for visitor visas.

Indian visa applicants require a wait-time of over two years just for getting an appointment, a US government website showed, while the timeframe is only two days for countries like China.

There's an appointment wait-time of 833 days for applications from Delhi and 848 days from Mumbai for visitor visas, shows the US State Department's website. In contrast, the wait-time is only two days for Beijing and 450 days for Islamabad

For student visas, the wait time is 430 days for Delhi and Mumbai. Surprisingly, it's only one day for Islamabad, and two for Beijing.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, who is in the US, yesterday raised the issue of visa applications backlog with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The top US diplomat said he's "extremely sensitive" to the issue and that they are facing a similar situation around the world, a challenge arising due to Covid.

Riaz Haq said...

UK emerges as top destination for Pakistani students seeking master’s degrees
Pakistani students receive access to millions of pounds worth of scholarships and bursaries in the UK

Due to its rich educational history and culture that fosters a global perspective, the UK has become one of the most sought-after destinations for Pakistani students looking to acquire higher education. As of June 2022, the number of student visas issued for Pakistani students has surged to 28,188, marking a significant 95pc increase from the previous year.

A major contributing factor to this trend is the UK’s Graduate Route (GR) programme, which was launched in 2021. This programme allows Pakistani students to kick-start their careers immediately after completing their course, with a two-year upper limit to find employment. Doctoral graduates (PhD) are given an additional year, providing them with a competitive edge in the job market.

Moreover, the UK’s master’s degree programme is another key factor attracting Pakistani students. The programme offers extensive transformational instruction in just 12 months, comprising a combination of classes, projects, studies, and papers. Compared to other countries where the postgraduate programme lasts two years, students in the UK can start working almost a year earlier, giving them a competitive advantage while also being more cost-effective.

As a global hub for education, the UK boasts four universities in the top 10 list of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2023. Graduates from the UK have access to the best-in-class industry professionals, research facilities, and infrastructure to acquire practical skills, making them highly employable. According to QS Graduate Employability Rankings, UK graduates are the most employable globally. Additionally, according to a Universities UK International (UUKI) report, 83pc of international graduates stated that their UK degree helped them secure a job.

For Pakistani students who cannot afford tuition fees, numerous scholarships and bursaries worth millions of pounds are available, including the Commonwealth Scholarships, Chevening Scholarships, and others. The British Council also provides exceptional scholarships to young, brilliant Pakistanis, such as the British Council Women in STEM Scholarships and GREAT Scholarships, opening up even more opportunities for them.

A UK education prepares young students to become the leaders of tomorrow, researchers who address global challenges, entrepreneurs, and policy leaders of the future. For Pakistani students considering postgraduate education abroad, the UK offers innumerable benefits for their future professional careers.

Riaz Haq said...

According to the latest data available from the Chinese Ministry of Education, as of 2020, there were 28,023 Pakistani students studying in China. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in China has been steadily growing over the last decade. Pakistan is among the top countries sending international students to China, and the two countries have been strengthening their educational ties in recent years through various initiatives and exchange programs.


According to the latest data available from the German Federal Statistical Office, as of 2020, there were 25,609 Pakistani students enrolled in German universities. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in Germany has been steadily growing over the last decade. Pakistani students are one of the largest groups of international students in Germany, and the country is a popular destination for Pakistani students seeking higher education opportunities abroad.


According to the latest data available from the Department of Home Affairs, as of June 2021, there were 23,207 Pakistani students enrolled in Australian education institutions. This represents a significant increase from previous years, as the number of Pakistani students in Australia has been steadily growing over the last decade.


According to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), as of the academic year 2020/2021, there were 21,045 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutions in the UK. This represents a decline from the previous year, which saw 22,385 Pakistani students enrolled in UK universities. However, Pakistani students remain one of the largest non-EU groups of international students in the UK.


According to the Open Doors Report 2021, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), during the 2020/2021 academic year, there were 10,606 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States. This represents a decline from the previous year, which saw 11,916 Pakistani students enrolled in US universities. However, Pakistani students remain an important part of the international student community in the United States.


According to the latest data available from Campus France, as of the academic year 2019/2020, there were 2,903 Pakistani students enrolled in French universities and other higher education institutions. This represents an increase from the previous year, which saw 2,582 Pakistani students enrolled in French institutions. Pakistani students make up a relatively small proportion of the international student community in France, but there has been a steady increase in their numbers in recent years.


According to the latest data available from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), as of May 2021, there were 2,096 Pakistani students enrolled in Japanese universities and other higher education institutions. This represents a slight increase from the previous year, which saw 2,057 Pakistani students enrolled in Japanese institutions. Pakistani students make up a relatively small proportion of the international student community in Japan, but the country has been making efforts to attract more international students, including from Pakistan.

Norway: As of 2020, there were 496 Pakistani students enrolled in Norwegian universities, according to the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education.

Sweden: As of 2020, there were 1,433 Pakistani students enrolled in Swedish universities, according to the Swedish Council for Higher Education.

Denmark: As of 2020, there were 152 Pakistani students enrolled in Danish universities, according to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Overall, the number of Pakistani students in Scandinavia is relatively small compared to other regions, but there has been a steady increase in recent years.

Riaz Haq said...

UNESCO stats on Pakistani students abroad

United Arab Emirates 24,863
Australia 11,297
United Kingdom 7,802
United States 7,511
Kyrgyzstan 6,003
Germany 5,837
Malaysia 4,243
Canada 2,607
Türkiye 2,386
Saudi Arabia 1,635
Korea, Rep. 1,465
Sweden 1,056
Qatar 1,039
Italy 936
Hungary 878
Finland 618
France 502
Norway 435
Bahrain 411
Iran, Islamic Rep. 377
Ukraine 335
Japan 330
Cyprus 318
Oman 293
New Zealand 274
China, Hong Kong 272
Ireland 263
Poland 253
Latvia 234
Spain 192
Estonia 155
Belgium 145
South Africa 138
Thailand 135
Czechia 131
Denmark 130
Austria 127
Georgia 122
Russian Federation 115
Azerbaijan 90
Lithuania 84
Egypt 77
Portugal 71
Switzerland 69
Malta 63
Uzbekistan 56
Romania 51
Kazakhstan 47
Jordan 42
Brazil 39
Bulgaria 34
India 25
Slovenia 25
Belarus 21
Luxembourg 21
Brunei Darussalam 19
Ghana 17
Iceland 17
Botswana 11
Morocco 10
Slovakia 10
Bosnia/Herzegovina 9
Greece 9
Tanzania 8
Viet Nam 5

Riaz Haq said...

15,000 Pakistani Students are Currently Studying in Australia

The envoy shared the willingness to boost the ties further in areas of trade and investment. He apprised the minister that 100,000 strong Pakistan diaspora and 15,000 Pakistani students in Australia are playing an important role in bringing the two countries closer.

Riaz Haq said...

23,450 student visas issued in 2022 for Pakistanis to study in the UK, representing 377% increase over 2019.

The UK approved a record-breaking number of UK student visas on record in its time series. Out of 486,868 sponsored study visas granted (to both main applicants and their dependants), 117,965 went to Indian nationals. This is an increase of 80,569 (+215%) compared to 2019, and slightly more than the 115,056 granted to Chinese nationals — but Pakistani nationals saw a bigger increase in approvals for their UK student visas at 377% compared to India’s 215%.

Following India, Chinese nationals received 115,056 approved UK student visas, 4% lower than the number seen in 2019 (119,825). Almost half of all UK student visas (48%) went to Chinese and Indian nationals.

Nigerian nationals make up the third largest nationality group in the latest year, with a record high of 65,929 approved UK student visas. This is a 686% jump from 2019, marking the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study grants among all nationality groups.

Indian students now see the UK as more appealing after it reintroduced opportunities to remain in the country to work after graduation.

Data from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is showing an uptick in the number of Indian international students enrolled in British universities in 2020-21.

First-year Indian international students have increased by 27%, from 41,815 in 2019-20 to 53,015 in 2020-21, representing 19% of all non-EU enrolments. While China still leads in terms of student enrolments, their numbers have decreased over the 2020-21 period.
Speaking to Times of India, Indian National Student Association UK president Amit Tiwari said: “Indian students also appreciate the fact that they get a chance to apply experience to their studies due to the post-study work visa. We can only see the trend increasing of Indian students coming to the UK.”

Sanam Arora, founder and chairperson of National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK, said India is the most natural partner for the UK when it comes to education. She added that it is in India’s interest if the UK increased their intake with a compelling offer.

“Post-study work rights are critical to that offer, and the results of that are already being seen in the doubling of numbers from India and I do think this increase will continue. I am excited to see what comes out of the FTA negotiations,” Arora was quoted saying.