Almost 1 out of 5 university students in Birmingham are international

On 2016-17, students from abroad represented 18% of the students in Birmingham, according to new data from Higher Education Statistics Agency. From the 80,340 students enrolled in the five Birmingham high education centres, 15,005 were international.

The total number of students in the city increased a 9% in four years and the proportion of international students in Birmingham universities was similar.

The institutions with the highest proportion are University College Birmingham, which had a 26% of international attendees on 2016-17, and the University of Birmingham, with 24%. This is above the UK rate of 19%.

For the first time in four years, Aston University had a lower proportion of international students than the national mean. Its total number of students went up to 13,610 in 2016-17 – 24% growth since 2013-14 -, whereas internationals decreased by a quarter in the same period, to 2,430. This is the major proportional decrease within the five Birmingham universities. Aston University has not answered yet.

University College Birmingham, which used to be the third in international students rate back in 2013-14, is the institution that has seen a major increase and is now leading the ranking. It is also the university with the greater rate of international postgraduates, 63% of them came from abroad last year.

Birmingham City University, although it is the second biggest university behind the University of Birmingham in student number – with 22,540 students – has only 12% of international students.

The international students’ proportion is greater among postgraduates in all universities. University College Birmingham had 63% of abroad attendees in this group last year, the highest in the group.

Birmingham’s international students have helped contribute £20 billion to the UK economy this year.

Universities with a higher proportion of international students are in London

London Business School is the institution with a greater proportion of overseas students (73%) within the national picture. 8 out of the 10 universities with a higher proportion of international students are in London. Only Cranfield University, in East England, and the University of St Andrews, in Scotland, make it into this list with 50% and 45% respectively.

However, by number of students, there is more diversity. Last year there were 15,735 international students at University College London (42% of their total), 13,505 at University of Manchester (33%) and 11,490 at University of Edinburgh (36%).

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