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Overseas Students

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL741, tabled on 7 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many international students are currently in higher education in the UK; and whether it remains their ambition to increase the number of international students entering higher education in the UK to 600,000 per year by 2030.

Answered on

21 June 2021

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publishes data annually on the number of international students at UK higher education providers; they are available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/where-from.

The table below shows the number of international student (non-UK domiciled) enrolments at UK higher education providers between the academic years 2015/16 and 2019/20, the latest year for which there is available data.

HE student enrolments of non-UK domicile students

Academic years 2015/16 to 2019/20

UK HE providers

Academic year

Non-UK domicile enrolments

2015/16

443,320

2016/17

450,835

2017/18

469,205

2018/19

496,315

2019/20

556,625

The table above is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/sb258/figure-9.

The most recent update to the International Education Strategy, published in February 2021, reaffirms the government’s commitment to increase the value of our education exports to £35 billion per year, and sustainably to increase the number of international higher education students hosted in the UK to 600,000 per year, both by 2030.