Demand for UK study from East Asia international students in decline

The British Council, which oversees UK cultural relations and academic alternatives, stated that the UK issued fewer examine visas to college students in East Asian international locations in 2021 than it did in 2019. 

This is regardless of an total restoration within the variety of incoming worldwide college students in 2021, after the sector suffered throughout the peak of the pandemic. In 2021, the UK issued over 40,000 extra examine visas globally than it did in 2019. 

The report, 5 developments to observe in 2022 East Asia Edition, acknowledges that the decline throughout East Asia could also be attributable to each “greater travel restrictions” and “greater willingness in the region to defer overseas study plans until after the pandemic has subsided”. 

“Millions of consumers, as well as our agency members, are now turning to Japan and Singapore and we expect a long-term shift to nearby Asian countries,” stated Jon Santangelo, spokesperson at BOSSA, China’s affiliation of examine overseas service companies. “However, our data also proves that the UK has consistently outpaced the US and every other country worldwide for several years.”

Jazreel Goh, director of Malaysia / East Asia insights hub on the British Council, can also be optimistic.

“All signs point to continued demand from the major markets in East Asia which remain the top region for student mobility to the UK in absolute numbers, particularly China which will remain one of the key pillars of the international education industry,” she stated.

China accounts for roughly 75% of all UK examine visas issued throughout East Asia however the circulation of outbound college students from China remained properly under pre-pandemic ranges to each main host vacation spot in 2021, together with the UK. 

“The recovery will nevertheless follow a winding path”

“The recovery will nevertheless follow a winding path,” Goh stated, “with challenges arising from the prolonged financial impact of the crisis, geopolitical tensions and a vast restructuring of the airline industry that will make travel more complicated and costly.”

Some 14 of the 16 East Asian economies included within the report are anticipated to develop sooner over the subsequent 5 years than they did over the previous 5 years. 

“As income levels rise… East Asia could see demand for UK education rebound in 2022 and beyond,” the British Council predicts. 

For now, Goh stated that UK establishments ought to  “understand that prospective students in East Asia face a maze of obstacles and uncertainties in making overseas study decisions,  churning up a tide of enquiries about everything from campus safety protocol to travel and visa logistics”.

Given heightened competitors for worldwide college students, she suggested them to “measure response times in minutes rather than hours or days”. 

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