As of March 2018, the Immigration Office statistics show that the UK granted 7% more student visas in the past year to overseas students, than the previous year.
Three cohorts of students that amounted to more than half of UK student visas issued were in China, India, and USA.
These three countries shared more than half (53%) of British student visa issued in the year ending in March 2018. China topped this list with 87,657 or 40% of the total Tier 4 visas issued during this period. Chinese students were followed by their Indian and US peers who counted in 15,171 and 14,856 visa grants respectively.
However, besides having the largest number of student visa issued, Chinese students were surpassed by Indian students when looking at the annual change of visa issuance. In comparison with the preceding year ending in March 2017, the number of Indian students who were granted a visa increased by 30%. Whereas, the number of Chinese students who were granted a visa during the same time was 15% higher.
Some other countries who also experienced a rise in visa grants were Pakistani (18%), US (4%) and Hong Kong (2%). The signals of growth among Pakistani, Indians, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh students are a pure indicator that the UK higher education remains a highly sought-after destination for students of this region.
On the other side, there were also countries that were granted less student visa during the same period of time. Nationals with the largest decrease in the number of student visa issued were Indonesians, Saudi Arabian and Malaysian. As of March 2017, 3234 Indonesians took a student visa in the UK while in the past year 910 fewer students had this luck, meaning a drop of 28%, the highest among all other countries. Saudi Arabians felt a drop of 8% and Malaysians a drop of 5%.
Similar to study-related visas, the upturn was also noted in the number of Sponsored Study visa applications. The number of these applications went from 202,040 in 2017 up to 213,277 in March 2018, an increase of 6%.
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