UK study visa applications down 27% in two years

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Posted on May 2, 2024


3 min read

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As of the beginning of 2024, new data indicates that the number of people planning to join the UK on a student visa has fallen to historic lows since the epidemic.

The number of major candidates intending to study in the UK has decreased to 34,000 in the first three months of 2024, according to government statistics. In 2022, over 46,900 people applied for visas intended for primary applicants.

The number of dependent study visa applications has decreased from 23,800 in January, February, and March 2022 to 6,700 in the first three months of this year following the implementation of new government regulations on January 1st that prohibit master’s degree candidates from bringing dependents.

To see “the full effect of recent policy changes and any other impacts,” according to the Home Office, one must wait until August or September, when student applications for the upcoming academic year reach their peak. Others disagree.

It follows warnings from the industry that the government’s recent policy changes are already making potential overseas students less inclined to study in the UK.

According to Diana Beech, CEO of London Higher, “the real effect that changes to the dependant visa, the recent increase to application fees and health surcharges, and the graduate visa review are having on the confidence international students have in the UK” is demonstrated by the decline in applications in the first three months of 2024.

“It’s unfortunate that the US has surpassed us as the most popular study destination, and we’re not sure how many of the ‘brightest and best’ have been discouraged from applying to the UK as a result,” she continued.

In a survey of over 11,500 students from 117 countries, conducted this week by IDP Connect, the US topped the list for the first time, surpassing Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Similar findings were observed in surveys conducted earlier this year by Oxford International Education Services, which indicated that the US was the most favored destination for Indian students, and the AECC, which found that New Zealand, Germany, and the US were becoming more and more popular.

London Higher says it doesn’t see any need to make any more modifications to the graduate route, and it will soon be launching its Study London campaign.

“This action has decreased the number of dependents entering the country, as we know the government was concerned about,” Beech stated.

“We hope to receive a favorable recommendation on this from the MAC in a few weeks, as we currently see no cause to impose any other changes to the graduate route.

“We also hope that the government will evaluate this fairly and not give in to popular politics.”