Half of international students not feeling fully prepared for courses – survey

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A survey shows that half of international applicants to UK universities did not feel fully prepared to start their course before the current academic year.

According to a report by Yucas, nearly three out of four (72%) international applicants wanted more information about what their year would look like and how the pandemic would affect them.

The University Admissions Service said more information is needed about accommodation, funding, employment options and visa applications for international students wishing to study in the UK.

A survey of over 500 international applicants to UK higher education providers during the summer of 2021 found that 50% were somewhat or not prepared at all for the start of this academic year.

EU “data-source”

But nine in 10 (88%) still viewed the UK as a positive or very positive place to study, the survey found.

The UCAS report highlights that graduate applications from outside the EU continue to rise, and have risen by more than 12% this year to a record 111,255, with 54,030 placed.

China is the largest market for UK international student recruitment, with 30,845 applicants and 16,310 placed during the 2021 application cycle. It offers more applicants than Wales and Northern Ireland and almost the entire European Union.

According to the UKS paper, two out of nine applicants entering UK higher education in 2021 were from China.

“This highlights a potential risk to the sustainability of UK international student recruitment should these high-volume markets be disrupted,” it added.

The report said the large drop in applications from the EU has been influenced by a number of factors, including the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

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