What matters most to Chinese students considering studying in the UK?

A new report from UCAS/Pearson, Global insights: What are the experiences of Chinese students in the UK? , provides valuable insights for UK educators considering how to gain competitive advantage in China. China is the largest source of undergraduate (UG) international students for the UK, and one that is even more important going into 2024 given new government policies that may dampen student mobility from non-EU countries. Recent data from UCAS shows a -1% y-o-y decline in the number of Chinese applying for undergraduate programmes in the UK, the first reduction since 2013, and a -6% decline in the number of acceptances (the first decline since 2015). These falloffs are not nearly as severe as seen for other countries – including India and Nigeria – but they are noteworthy. The UCAS/Pearson study drew on the following to shed light on the Chinese student experience in the UK: “Data from the more than 33,000 Chinese UG applicants making 140,000 applications to UK universities and colleges, with survey insights from almost 1,600 UG Chinese applicants and around 200 existing UG Chinese higher education (HE) students; Insights gained through a collaboration with the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association (BOSSA) on ‘trends in appetite for UK study across China.’” A key market Chinese students account for a quarter of all UG international acceptances via UCAS, and they are accepted at a higher rate than other international students, not least because of their English proficiency scores. In 2021, according to the British Council, Chinese students in the UK spent £5.4 billion on tuition and other expenses. Chinese demand for UK education is expected to keep growing (in contrast to demand for other leading destinations), but there is some uncertainty around this given: A volatile global economy and political climate; Increased competition, including from regional […]

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By Donato