Great Britain: Fewer EU students in British universities

Universities in Great Britain accepted about 50 per cent of students from the European Union (EU) in 2021 compared to the previous year. At some British universities, admissions of EU students has fallen by 90 per cent, and scores of universities have recorded a decline of more than 75 per cent, the Times of Higher Education (THE) reported with reference to current figures of admissions to British universities. UCAS Agency.

The decline is due to the fact that the number of applicants from EU countries is also declining: according to statistics, 40 percent of prospective students from the European Union applied for a bachelor’s degree in Great Britain in 2021 compared to 2020. There were about 40 percent fewer Applicants from Germany are 65 percent (2,145, compared to 3,285 in 2020) more than the EU average, such as UCAS numbers turns out. THEE notes that the decline in Eastern European countries is becoming more pronounced: in 2021, only 28 percent of applications from the previous year came from Poland (1365 instead of 4,895) and only 26 percent from Slovakia (270 instead of 1035).

The background to the retreat and its consequences

Because of Brexit, students from the EU in the UK have to pay much higher tuition fees and can no longer access government-funded loans. Some universities have tried to compensate for scholarships, according to THE, but UCAS data showed that all universities accepted fewer EU students despite this.

The drop in the number of EU students varies from university to university. Universities founded after 1992 are particularly affected. The decline is most noticeable in institutions whose students from the European Union come so far mainly from Eastern European countries, where the number of applications for places to study there has decreased in particular.

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Some British universities have compensated for the decline in applications from the European Union by accepting more British applicants. According to THE, however, this is not of equal value to universities, because diversity on campus suffers. In addition, the situation is a funding problem: unlike master’s tuition fees and international student costs, bachelor fees are set for British students, so that these places of study generate less income. Inflation also causes the real value of fees to fall, making British undergraduates less and less accepted.

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