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UK relies on China for growth in overseas postgraduate recruitment

The UK is projected to gain an additional 83,000 postgraduate international students by 2024, according to a major new piece of forecasting research by the British Council.

The increasing recruitment will mean the UK remains the second most popular study destination in the world for postgraduate students after the United States over the next ten years.

But the rate of growth will slow, and increasing numbers will be largely reliant on additional numbers of Chinese students.

The forecasting predicts the number of postgraduates studying in the UK will grow by 83,000 between 2013-24, bringing the total number to 241,000 in 2024, compared to 159,000 in 2012. But that will be a slowdown in annual growth, from 4.1 per cent in the previous six years to 3.9% growth from 2013-2024.

Professor Rebecca Hughes, British Council Director of Education, commented "All international students make a tremendous academic, cultural and economic contribution to life in the UK, but postgraduate students are particularly important in building our next generation of researchers and contributing to the UK's global
professional networks.

"In England, three quarters of all full-time taught Masters students are now from overseas and some courses rely for their sustainability on the international student intakes. In science, technology, engineering and mathematics, more than half (52 per cent) of full-time MPhil and PhD students are from overseas.

"Tackling global challenges requires global collaboration and understanding, so it's very positive to see that the UK attracts, and will attract even more of the most ambitious and brightest young people from around the world to gain postgraduate skills and knowledge here. It will be great to welcome more Nigerian students in
particular over the next decade to provide a greater African perspective to the debates and discoveries in our classrooms and laboratories."

Get the full picture from HEi-know: Briefing Report 200