A draconian visa system is having a disproportionate impact on middle and lower ranked universities. The 2015/16 Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) figures revealed that the overall number of non-EU students has fallen for the first time, by 0.5%. This is despite global demand for international education growing by 6% a year, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and our competitor countries such as Canada, Australia and US mostly growing at double digit rates.
However, falling international student numbers in the UK have not been evenly distributed. HESA data reveals significant declines in non-EU student numbers at lower ranked universities since 2010, including a 65 percent drop at the University of Teesside, 52 percent at the University of Staffordshire, and 40 percent at the University of Hull. Meanwhile, Oxford University and University College London have enjoyed increases of 20 percent and 73 percent respectively.