Login

close

Login

If you are a registered HEi-know user, please log in to continue.


Unregistered Visitors

You must be a registered HEi-know user to access Briefing Reports, stories and other information and services. Please click on the link below to find out more about HEi-know.

Find out more
HEi News Roundup live

Live higher education news roundup

HEi-think: Reasons to be worried about the future of graduate employment

New figures suggest that more graduates are finding employment or going on to further study. But there are trends within the statistics that raise questions about the direction of the graduate labour market and that could cause concern for the future, warns Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters .

HEi-think: HE needs practical tools to navigate turbulent times

As UK higher education enters a period of unprecedented change and uncertainty, Tony Strike, University Secretary and Director of Strategy at the University of Sheffield, says that more than ever before universities need reliable practical tools to guide them through the challenges they face.

UK universities lose ground in latest QS world rankings

Many UK universities have fallen further behind international competitors in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings.

“Glacial” progress on closing the gender pay gap, report finds

Closing the higher education gender pay gap will take 40 years, a new report suggests.

Brexit prompts widespread falls in demand for engineering

Engineering departments in non-Russell Group universities in the UK are reporting widespread falls in the number of overseas students following the UK's EU referendum vote, according to a survey by the Engineering Professors’ Council.

The findings reveal that, while most Russell Group universities saw increases in international students, other UK engineering departments experienced significant losses.

The ‘Early Enrolments Survey’, which provides the first snapshot of numbers of new engineering students long before official figures are published, is conducted annually by the Engineering Professors’ Council, the body representing engineering in UK higher education.

The EPC’s Early Enrolment Survey 2016 included data from 56 different universities and 100 departments and faculties (of which 43 are in Russell Group universities) across various engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical and civil engineering.

For undergraduate courses, the majority of engineering departments in Russell Group universities recorded gains in non-EU students, with a quarter reporting increases of over 10 per cent. Out of 40 departments, just three recorded falls.

Meanwhile, in other universities, more than one in three departments (36.4 per cent) experienced a drop in non-EU students, compared to just one in eight (seven out of a total of 55) reporting increases. Nine universities said they had falls of over 10 per cent.

In both groups of universities, similar patterns were reflected in the numbers of non-EU postgraduate students. However, there was a stark contrast with the numbers of UK and EU students, which had risen in most cases.

The falls in international students might be attributed to concerns over Brexit. Some departments have reported international students expressing concerns over whether the UK is still a welcoming destination for them. The trend may also reflect increased competition from universities in other countries.

Traditionally, engineering courses have been among the UK’s most attractive courses for international students. Non-EU students pay higher tuition fees than UK and EU students and so are critical to the economic model of engineering departments, where the cost of running courses tends to exceed the fees received from UK students.

Professor Stephanie Haywood, President of the EPC, commented:

“It’s encouraging that our elite universities are continuing to attract international students, but these figures are extremely troubling for the wider diversity of our higher education system. That’s not just bad news for individual engineering departments that rely on international students, but for the whole country which is facing a severe shortage in engineering skills.

“Attracting the brightest and best young engineers from all over the world has long been key to British strengths in innovation and industry. If the UK is a less welcoming place, we will face a cost.”

The Early Enrolment Survey 2016 is published today at the EPC’s annual Recruitment and Admissions Forum, hosted at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering.

jegas / 123RF
Back