Universities set to lose £5.6bn as overseas applications plummet

Rise in tuition fees a key factor in growing financial threat as UK becomes a 'no-go zone'

Britain is gaining a reputation abroad for being a "no-go" zone to international students – risking the loss of billions of pounds both to the economy and to universities reliant on foreign students for the higher fees they pay.

Restrictions on visas, the massive rise in tuition fees for European Union students at English universities and the murder of a student from India over Christmas are posing a threat to the future of universities, academics warned yesterday.

At stake is not only the vast extra earnings they bring to the economy – estimated at £5bn a year – but UK universities' reputation as being world-class institutions in which to study. One estimate, in a report by the consultants London Economics, reckoned that Britain could lose out on nearly £8bn in income – £2.3bn lost to the economy and £5.66bn in lost fees revenue.

Ministers have been anxious to crack down on immigration and have issued fewer waivers for students.

"The trouble is that the Home Office is more important than the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills [which is more welcoming to international recruits] in Government," said Sir Peter Scott, professor of higher education at London University's Institute of Education.

"Also, is the media more interested in negative stories about immigrants or the positive impact of international students on the economy? Well, we know the answer." Dr Jo Beall, director of Education at the British Council, said that the UK was currently the second most popular overseas destination for students, behind the United States – responsible for 10 per cent of the market.

However, the figure was declining "so we can't be complacent".

The Latest figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show the number of EU students applying to British universities has dropped by 11 per cent. They face the same fees increase to up to £9,000 a year as English students – and are finding it cheaper to study in their own countries.

The number of international applications is still rising – at 13 per cent – but academics at the conference believe the constant clamour to cut down on visas will inevitably take its toll on the numbers.

In numbers

£830m Cuts to university teaching funds from central Government this year – reducing places by 15,000

9.9% Fall in applications

to English universities this year as tuition fees treble

2.3bn Potential loss of revenue over next decade from fall in EU students put off by higher fees and tighter controls on study visas

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Senior Research Fellow in Water and Resilient communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: Our team of leading academic...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Special Needs Teaching Assistants...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?