Home »Blog

International Enrollment at Leading U.K. Universities

Universities in Britain that are members of the Russell Group – an association comprised of 24 British research universities – tend to attract the most international students.

The Russell Group includes the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, to name a few. These schools produce more than two-thirds of the world-leading research in the U.K., according to the group's website.

Among the 21 Russell Group member schools that submitted student data to Clarivate Analytics' global reputation survey, around 34 percent of students are from outside the U.K. These data the schools reported represent the academic year ending in 2015 but may also, in some cases, represent a more recent year.

The percentage of international students attending Russell Group member schools is much higher than the overall figure – 19 percent – reported for all British universities in 2014-2015, according to a recent Universities UK study.

[Read how college costs are driving U.S. students to British universities.]

Almost a quarter of international students enrolled at a U.K. university in 2014-2015 attended a school in London – making it the most popular region for non-U.K. students, according to the Universities UK study.

The school with the highest international student enrollment among Russell Group schools is based in the heart of the capital: The London School of Economics and Political Science, commonly called LSE. Around 69 percent of students at LSE are not from the U.K.

Imperial College London, with the second highest number, is also based in the city and boasts an international enrollment of 54 percent.

Experts say there are concerns that enrollment among European Union students may drop because of Brexit. According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the centralized service that students use to apply to most British universities, applications for EU students dipped by 7 percent in the 2017 admissions cycle.

But some British universities with strong international brand recognition seem resistant to these fluctuations. According to a recent government report, the majority of international students at English universities are from non-EU countries.

[Discover top European MBAs that may cost less than elite U.S. b-schools.]

At University College London, a Russell Group school, international student enrollment in 2017-2018 was up for both EU and overseas students. "In 2017-2018 overseas student enrollments were up by 16 percent and EU student enrollments up by 4 percent, according to the most recent numbers," Alexander Craik, a student recruitment officer at UCL, said via email.

The map below features international student enrollment at Russell Group member schools. The data represent the end of the 2015 academic year or a more recent year. If full-time-equivalent student counts were used, the values were rounded to the nearest whole number. These data weren't used in any of the Best Global Universities rankings.

Reference :