Articles

Growing Numbers of International Students in Europe

by Jeduka Helpdesk Education Counsultant
A number of international students continue to broaden their choices when it comes to studying abroad countries. One recent factor for this is that during the pandemic, some countries only offered online and/or remote learning for long periods while others resumed in-person classes earlier. As we have noted throughout the COVID-19 disruption, even with the growing demand for online and hybrid delivery, many students still prefer the option of in-person study.

Changes in the Choice of Study Abroad Destination

The trend of international students switching their preferred study abroad destination during the pandemic has contributed to a different competitive context for universities and countries. Here are the highlights:

  • Canada gained more share may be because the US and especially Australia closed borders for a longer time.  
  • With only a few exceptions, international students still can not enter China or New Zealand, and Japan was also very slow to reopen. 
  • The UK might have lost share because of its confusing border policies in parts of 2020-21. But its improved offer for post-study work rights has proven to be so popular that the country is witnessing record numbers of non-EU enrolments.

But overall, it is Europe that has seen a lot more interest from international students in the past few years, and despite their regional proximity, different European countries remarkably have different student mixes from each other. 


The UK saw its international student enrolments increase by 9% in 2020/21 over the previous year to 605,130. The UK’s top markets are in 

Two are in South Asia (Pakistan and India) 

two are in East Asia (China and Hong Kong). 

The UK attracts international students more heavily from Europe for its top 10 sending markets than do France or Germany, and it is also seeing substantial growth in Nigerian student admissions over the past 2 years.


France, which currently hosts roughly 370,000 international students, has only one Asian country in its top tier (China). It is not surprising to know that it attracts large numbers of students from African francophone countries.


Germany has seen international enrolments climbing throughout the pandemic to about 330,000. Germany’s top market is mixed among the 3 countries in terms of its regional diversity with significant numbers of students from Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, and Africa choosing German universities.


The international student mix of Italy is quite varied.  In total, universities in Italy enrolled nearly 100,000 international students in 2020-21. The top 5 sending markets are Romania, Albania, China, India, and Iran.


In Spain, Latin America is a major recruitment focus for universities given the Spanish language relationship between the two regions. In 2019-20, 208,370 International students were in Spanish universities – up 12% from 185,145 two years earlier. 


The Netherlands hosted 12% more international students in 2021-22 than in the previous year for a total of 115,070. Top markets for Dutch universities are Germany, Italy, China, Belgium, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Poland, and India.

Current Demand Factors

European nations other than the UK are seeing increased interest from within the region. It is because the Brexit terms ended EU students’ ability to access “home fee status.” Faced with the prospect of paying the same fees as non-EU students for UK higher education, European students are looking for alternatives to their home countries. They are seeking out quality institutions that are both ranked highly as well as charge relatively less when it comes to tuition fees.

Other destinations within Europe are quickly becoming more popular for African and Asian students who might otherwise have chosen China, Russia, or Ukraine as their Study destinations. This is because they find themselves unable or unwilling to go to those countries because China’s borders remain shut and because of Russia’s war on Ukraine. They also choose European countries rather than Canada or the United States because of the affordable tuition at many European universities.

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About Jeduka Helpdesk Advanced   Education Counsultant

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Joined APSense since, October 14th, 2016, From Ahmedabad, India.

Created on Jun 22nd 2022 02:36. Viewed 85 times.

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