The small increase in non-EU students is good news for universities. Many people including universities were quite pessimistic about the situation and thought that some universities possibly faced financial disaster. It is not all good news. Not surprisingly after EU students start having to pay full tuition fees next year, their numbers are expected to fall.
It remains to be seen long term how the coronavirus COVID-19 situation will affect university finances. The reduction in EU numbers will also affect university funding.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of UK Tier 4 student visas issued to non-EU international students. Meanwhile, international student numbers from EU countries have plummeted. According to recent statistics, there has been a 2% rise in non-EU student numbers, while EU student arrivals have slumped by 13.2%
Enrollment figures show that a total of 35,080 non-EU international students have been accepted by UK universities for the 2020 – 21 academic year, up from 33,630 in 2019. EU student enrollments have dropped to 22,940, down from 26,440 in 2019.
However, Erudera College News reports that the slump in EU student numbers can be attributed to exam delays in European countries as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the report, because of the delays, the current figures are not final.
Awaiting qualifications to finalize figures
It’s understood that figures will be finalized once students submit their qualifications and places at UK universities are confirmed. It’s expected that EU student numbers will continue to decline in the coming years, especially at the start of the 2021 – 22 academic year when EU students will have to pay full tuition fees to study at UK universities.