English universities ‘at risk’ due to over-reliance on fees from Chinese students, watchdog warns

The Office of Students has written to institutions with high levels of student recruitment from China to ensure they have contingency plans in place

Eleanor Busby
Thursday 18 May 2023 08:08 BST

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An over-reliance on tuition fees from overseas students – especially those from a single country such as China – is a financial risk for English universities, the higher education watchdog has warned.

The Office for Students (OfS) has written to institutions with high levels of student recruitment from China to ensure they have contingency plans to protect them from any possible drop in income from overseas students.

Any event that “reduces the flow” of international students to universities – such as a changing geopolitical environment – could cause a “significant impact” on the income of institutions that rely heavily on international student recruitment, the higher education regulator in England has said.

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