Kings College Cambridge

The Number of Turkish Students at UK Universities increased by 73%

According to the official higher education statistics, during the 2017/18 academic year, 285 Turkish students were attending university in UK, an increase of 73% compared to three years ago, says

Despite international enrollment seems to be staggering in recent years, statistically, they still remain the second most popular study destination in the international higher education market. As of 2018, 458,490 students at UK universities were foreign citizens, a healthy growth compared to the previous year when there were 442,375 international students.

Turkish students had a fair contribution to this number. Based on the Higher Education Statistic Agency in the UK, during the last year, 3,440 students from Turkey were enrolled at UK universities. Three years ago, 183 higher education providers which provide enrollment data to HESA, reported for 3,165 Turkish students.

By country of HE provider, England stands at the top list of popular study destinations for Turkish students. Last year, English universities accommodated 3,060 students from Turkey. Scotland also had a relatively high number of Turkish students (285) followed by Wales (80) and Northern Ireland (15).

Between 2014/15 and 2017/18, Scottish universities experienced the largest enrollment growth of Turkish students. During the 2014/15 academic year, Turkish nationals in Scotland accounted for  165 students. Three years later in 2017/18, the number expanded hugely by 73 percentage points to reach 285 students.

As per the academic level at which they were studying, postgraduate courses were the most populated. Of the total number of Turkish nationals enrolled at Scottish universities in 2017/18, exactly 220 students were seeking to get a postgraduate degree as opposed to 65 enrolled in undergraduate level.

Further on, statistical data reveal that during the same time, Welsh universities experienced a huge loss of Turkish enrollment, from 195 students in 2014/15 down to 80 in 2017/18. Expressed in percentage terms, this means a drop of 59%.

This flow of abroad students from Turkey toward UK universities will likely continue as other optional study destinations like the US are becoming less attractive, mostly due to political relations between both countries.

Pretty much the same effect was also felt among qualified professionals in Turkey who in recent years are switching from the US as their most popular working destination to other countries. According to a study by VisaGuide.World, the applications for H1B visa which allows foreign qualified professionals to enter the US for working purposes has been cut in half in Turkey between 2018 and 2009.

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