Which UK Universities are Most Reliant on International Students?

Students in university

Whilst UK universities saw their third worst performance in the QS World University Rankings this year, UK universities still boast high numbers of international students.

HESA figures reveal that many UK universities have a large contingent of international students, and that’s hopefully set to grow as talks mount over extending the period of time international students have to find a job after they graduate.

Quartz India recently reported that Indian student enrollments in the UK have risen for the first time in over a decade with 19,750 Indian students studying in the UK in 2017-18.

This suggests that international student recruitment has potential to expand across the UK as universities and government work to dispel Brexit uncertainty and the UK’s unwelcoming image.

Which UK universities have the most international students?

Northern Ireland has the lowest percentage of international students for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the UK. England has the most undergraduates by a margin of around 1%, but Wales has the highest percentage of postgraduates by 5%. International postgraduates make up much higher numbers than undergraduates, meaning postgraduate study, and research, will be most affected should numbers decline.

These are the top 15 universities with the highest proportion of international undergraduates and postgraduates in the UK:

  1. University College London: 12,742
  2. The University of Manchester: 10,880
  3. The University of Edinburgh: 8,138
  4. Coventry University: 7,658
  5. The University of Sheffield: 7,486
  6. King’s College London: 7,054
  7. The University of Liverpool: 6,919
  8. University of the Arts, London: 6,689
  9. The University of Leeds: 6,566
  10. The University of Birmingham: 6,498
  11. The University of Warwick: 6,440
  12. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine: 6,277
  13. University of Nottingham: 5,896
  14. London School of Economics and Political Science: 5,776
  15. The University of Glasgow: 5,510

It’s clear that these universities are actively attracting international students and developing their international student recruitment strategies.

If you’d like to develop your own international student recruitment strategy or just better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach, please contact our QS Insights and Strategy team.

More QS Insights

Sign up for industry insights

Receive the latest insights, expertise and commentary on the topics which matter most in higher education, straight to your inbox.

Sign up
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.