London: There has been a 15.1 percent rise in the number of Indian students coming to the UK, according to latest figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on Monday.
India is now second to China in the number of overseas students in the UK. There has been a fall of 3.7 percent in the Chinese students, but the overall figure is still the highest in the list of overseas students – over 50,000.
There were 19,025 students from India in the UK during 2005-06, the figures reveal. This constitutes 5.8 percent of non-UK domiciled students. India leapfrogged Greece into second place in the table as the UK saw a 10.2 percent fall in the number of students from Greece.
Boris Johnson, Shadow Higher Education spokesman, welcomed figures that show Britain is attracting more international students to its universities.
He said: “It is great news that Britain continues to attract increasing numbers of Indian and African students but there is no scope for complacency. International students make a huge contribution to Britain and the British Higher Education economy and we must make sure they continue to do so.
“Britain attracts more foreign international students than any other country except the USA and is increasingly becoming the Athens of the global education economy.
“These young people will go home with overwhelmingly positive memories of Britain and that is to the good.”
The number of Nigerian students grew by almost 18 percent while the number of Hong Kong domiciled students decreased by around 12 percent. Overall, in 2005/06 the total number of students domiciled in countries outside of the UK increased by 3.7 percent from 318,400 to 330,080.
Business and administrative studies retained its status as the most popular subject group with 140,040 students, an annual increase of 1.9 percent. Creative arts & design and social studies followed in second and third place with 113,625 and 103,180 students respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of full-time undergraduates aiming for a first degree has risen by 3.3 percent from 1,039,130 in 2004/05 to 1,073,775 in 2005/06. Most subject areas recorded an increase in students and the largest percentage increase was recorded in the architecture, building and planning subject area, which saw a 13.8 percent year-on-year growth in full-time students aspiring to a degree. (IANS)