Nigerian postgrads set to outnumber Indian students in UK universities

Oct 7, 2014 by

Nigeria will soon overtake India to become the UK’s second biggest source of international postgraduate students, according to research compiled by the British Council.

Forecasting by the organisation suggests that the UK will host 241,000 postgraduate international students by 2024, allowing it to remain one of the top two destinations for studying a postgrad abroad – second only to the US.

But researchers warn the UK is too dependent on China for its international numbers, and that it is losing out on Indian students. Demographic changes mean India’s appetite for higher education is expanding quickly and providing a source of international postgrad students that the US is exploiting.

While in the UK, China accounts for 44% of growth in the international postgraduate market, this figure stands at 33% in the US. More than half (54%) of the US’ international students arrive from India – which, by 2024, will be home to the largest tertiary-aged population, numbering over 119 million.


“No single market should drive the growth and composition of a country’s incoming postgraduate body,” said Zainab Malik, director of research for British Council education intelligence. “As such, it is essential for institutions and policy-makers to continue to attract students from expanding economies besides China and India, including Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.”

The study forecasts that the annual growth rate of the UK’s international postgraduate numbers will dip over the next 10 years, falling 4.1% during the period 2007-12 to 3.5% between 2013-24. This means the UK’s international postgraduate market will grow more slowly than the US, Canada and Australia.

The predictions for the next decade were generated by researchers who examined the demographic and economic data for 23 origin countries and six destination countries, as well as examining historical trends. The study did not look at the impact of specific political factors such as visa arrangements.

Whats happening to other destinations – and who will be leading the way by 2024?

via Nigerian postgrads set to outnumber Indian students in UK universities | Education | The Guardian.

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