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New figures reveal hike in Indian student applications for UK universities

The number of students from India applying to UK universities for higher education continues an upward trend, according to official statistics released in London on Thursday.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the UK’s centralised university application system, said that 6,210 students from India had applied to take up courses at British universities by this year’s deadline of June 30. This marks a 5 per cent hike over the previous year, when 5,890 applications were recorded.

The overall figures also reflect a significant rise in the number of young people applying to universities, with China way ahead in terms of international student numbers at 19,760, up 30 per cent from the previous year’s number of 15,240 applications.

“The global appeal of UK higher education has never been clearer, with record, demographic beating application rates in England and Wales, and the steep rise in international applications, especially from China,” said Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive.

“Today’s analysis shows how attractive undergraduate study continues to be for young people, although university isn’t the only route on offer. Our survey insight shows that around a quarter of students are interested in apprenticeships as an alternative option,” she said.

In 2019, there is a record number of applicants from outside the EU (81,340) who have applied to study in the UK, an increase of 8 per cent.

“Our universities have a well-deserved global reputation for high-quality teaching, learning and research, delivered by talented staff, while students report rising levels of satisfaction with their courses,” said Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of representative body Universities UK.

Overall, 638,030 people have applied in the current application cycle – a rise of over 1,000 on 2018. The latest statistics show that the number of young people from the UK applying has increased by 1 per cent, despite a 1.9 per cent fall in the overall 18-year-old population of the UK.

And, in a sign that Brexit-related uncertainties had not yet dampened the interest among European Union (EU) students, the volume of EU applicants to UK universities rose 1 per cent, to 50,650.