fbpx
Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
7th Sep 2022

India and Nigeria driving surge in UK visa grants this year

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • UK visa grants to foreign students have spiked this year, for overall growth of +71% between June 2019 and June 2022
  • Much of that volume results from significant increases in the number of visas granted to students from India, Nigeria, and Pakistan
  • Grants to Chinese students, meanwhile, declined slightly over the same period

The UK's Home Office is reporting a record number of study visas granted for the fiscal year ending June 2022.

The UK granted nearly 487,000 sponsored student visas in the 12 months leading up to June, which represents a 71% increase from 2019, the last full fiscal year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total visa grants this year are certainly bolstered by visas issued to EEA and Swiss nationals, a new requirement that arises from the UK's departure from the EU in early 2021. But the Home Office reports that EEA and Swiss students account for only about 5% of the total study visas granted this year.

Sponsored study visa grants, year ending June 2013 to year ending June 2022. Source: UK Home Office

Major growth drivers

The big news this year is that India has surpassed China – for the first time since 2011 – as the leading sender of foreign students for the UK. The total number of visas granted to Indian students grew by more than 200% between June 2019 and June 2022.

As we see in the table below, other notable growth markets include Nigeria (+686% over the same period) and Pakistan (+377%). Following a pattern we have observed for other major destinations, grants to Chinese students actually declined between June 2019 and June 2022.

Top five nationalities granted sponsored study visas, year ending June 2019 compared to year ending June 2022. Source: UK Home Office

A significant majority of visas (90%) were granted for higher education studies with the balance distributed as follows:

  • Independent schools (4%)
  • Further education (3%)
  • English language schools (2%)
  • Other (1%)

For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • Demand for study abroad in Australia, Canada, UK already affected by new international education policies Read More
  • International school openings, enrolments, and revenues continue to expand Read More
  • South Korea announces results of annual evaluation of universities and colleges’ international programmes Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Demand for study abroad in Australia, Canada, UK already affected by new international education policies New, restrictive policies concerning international students in the UK, Canada, and Australia are already having a significant impact...
Read more
South Korea announces results of annual evaluation of universities and colleges’ international programmes On 8 February 2024, the Korean government announced the results of its annual evaluation of colleges and universities’...
Read more
Australia’s “blueprint for change” for higher education calls for a more diverse and balanced international enrolment After just over a year of consultation and review, 820 written submissions, 180 meetings, and a hotly debated...
Read more
Australian unis brace for risk assessment as visa rejections continue Australia’s education providers continue to grapple with a significant spike in visa rejections. As many as 1 in...
Read more
Former edtech unicorn’s stock price plunges as universities take DIY approach to online learning The edtech giant 2U is experiencing market and financial pressures severe enough that earlier this month it warned...
Read more
Malaysia opens new post-study visa option for degree graduates Effective 1 December 2023, Malaysia introduced a package of new visa settings designed to make it easier for...
Read more
New policies, Erasmus+, and booming tourism boost Spain’s international education sector New government policies in Spain – as well as a changed competitive context in the broader international education...
Read more
Dutch universities detail plan to reduce international enrolment The Dutch government spent most of last year signalling its concern about the rapid growth of international student...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links