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HESA Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08 reveals 197,000 students studying overseas for UK HE qualifications

For the first time, HESA has collected comprehensive data on the number of students studying outside the UK for qualifications awarded by UK HE institutions (HEIs). The new data, published today, shows that 196,640 ‘offshore students' were studying entirely overseas for HE level awards from 112 UK HEIs during the 2007/08 academic year.

‘Distance learning' courses accounted for more than half of the offshore provision of UK higher education (100,360 students). Meanwhile, 7,090 students were studying at overseas campuses directly run by UK HEIs. Most of the remaining 89,190 students were studying for qualifications offered by UK institutions in collaboration with foreign partners. Just under a third of offshore students were studying for postgraduate qualifications.

HE Students studying wholly overseas by type and level of provision 2007/08

Type of provision

Postgraduate

Undergraduate

Total

Overseas campus of reporting HEI

2090

5000

7090

Distance, flexible or distributed learning

41590

58770

100360

Other arrangement including collaborative provision

9810

50110

59920

Overseas partner organisation

7840

21335

29175

Other arrangement

95

0

95

Grand Total

61425

135215

196640

Source: HESA Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08

   

23% of offshore students were studying in other European Union countries. Asia accounted for 45% of offshore provision. Four countries, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China accounted for 37% of offshore provision between them. The table below shows the top 15 countries where students were studying for awards from UK HEIs in 2007/08

HE Students studying wholly overseas by location (top 15 countries) 2007/08

Country

Offshore students

Percentage of total

Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China)

21280

10.8%

Singapore

20845

10.6%

Malaysia

20525

10.4%

China

10450

5.3%

Greece

9575

4.9%

Russia

9545

4.9%

Ireland

8980

4.6%

Trinidad and Tobago

8605

4.4%

Oman

6240

3.2%

Germany

5350

2.7%

India

4930

2.5%

Spain

4880

2.5%

Israel

4455

2.3%

United Arab Emirates

4180

2.1%

Egypt

3500

1.8%

Source: HESA Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08

   

Meanwhile, students from overseas continued to be attracted to study in the UK. In 2007/08 there were 341,790 non-UK domicile HE students studying in the UK compared with 325,985 in 2006/07, an increase of 4.8%. The table below shows the top 15 non-UK countries of domicile for HE students at UK HEIs in 2007/08.

Top 15 non-UK countries of domicile in 2007/08 for HE students in UK HEIs

Country of domicile

Non-UK domicile students

Percentage of all non-UK domicile students

China

45355

13.3%

India

25905

7.6%

Ireland

15260

4.5%

United States

13905

4.1%

Germany

13625

4.0%

France

12685

3.7%

Greece

12625

3.7%

Nigeria

11785

3.4%

Malaysia

11730

3.4%

Cyprus (including EU and Non-EU)

9795

2.9%

Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China)

9700

2.8%

Pakistan

9305

2.7%

Poland

8570

2.5%

Spain

5740

1.7%

Taiwan

5615

1.6%

Source: HESA Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08

   

The HESA Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08 reference volume includes comprehensive student data on student domicile, level and mode of study, subjects of study, institution, qualifications obtained, highest qualification on entry, and more. Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08 is available to purchase from our site or by calling +44 (0) 1242 211155. Back issues of this publication are also available for purchase.

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • HESA Press Office
    • +44 (0) 1242 211120
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ.
  2. Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998, HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. These tabulations are derived from the HESA non-statutory populations and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:

    • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
    • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.

    So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.

  3. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  4. Definitions of terms used in the release follow:

    Definitions - Aggregate Record for Students Studying Wholly Overseas 2007/08

    Coverage

    In parallel with introduction of the new Student Record in 2007/08, a separate summary aggregate return collects data about all students registered with UK higher education institutions (HEI) but studying wholly overseas. Return of such students in the Student Record was previously optional. Students studying wholly outside the UK (to date) are now required to be included in the Aggregate record for students studying wholly overseas, unless they are funded (e.g. Crown servants overseas and the Services), or considered fundable under Funding Council Early Statistics rules.

    Students who commence their studies outside the UK and subsequently come to continue their studies within the UK are included in the Aggregate record up until the point at which they enter the UK, when a full individualised record is required. Students who spend a sandwich, language or other year abroad as part of their overall course, which is otherwise UK based, are not included in the Aggregate record.

    Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are counted as overseas within the Aggregate record for Students studying wholly overseas.

    Location of provision

    Within the European Union includes students whose location of study country was a European Union (EU) member state. Overseas territories of EU member states (e.g. Netherlands Antilles and French Guiana) are included in this category.

    Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, for the purposes of these tables, are counted as within the European Union. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU).

    Outside the European Union includes students whose location of study country was outside the EU.

    Where location of study countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude the country's overseas territories.

    Level of study

    Level of study is taken from the level of provision and describes the qualification that will be obtained as a result of successful completion of studies. It is based on the coding frame used for course aim in the Student record.

    Postgraduate research includes doctorate and masters degrees.

    Undergraduate includes bachelors degrees, diplomas and certificates in HE.

    Definitions - Students in Higher Education Institutions 2007/08

    Coverage

    In general, the HESA Student Record is collected in respect of all students registered at a reporting institution who follow courses that lead to the award of a qualification(s) or institutional credit. The data specification of the record uses the term 'instance' to describe a student's engagement with the institution, which, because a student can have more than one instance of engagement, will exceed the number of students. Unless stated otherwise, Student data is based on an instance of engagement. Postdoctoral students are not included in the HESA Student Record.

    Higher education (HE) students for the purpose of HESA's data collection are those students on courses for which the level of instruction is above that of level 3 of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (e.g. courses at the level of Certificate of HE and above).

    The HESA standard registration population has been derived from the HESA Student Record, from all higher education and further education student instances active at a reporting institution in the reporting period 1 August to 31 July, and ensures that similar activity is counted in a similar way irrespective of when it occurs.

    The population splits the student experience into 'years of study'; the first year of which is deemed to start on the commencement date of the student instance with second, and subsequent years, starting on, or near, the anniversary of that date. Student instances are counted once for each ‘year of study'. Short course registrations are counted in the standard registration population regardless of whether they are active on 1 December of the reporting period. However students who leave within two weeks of their instance start date, or anniversary of their start date, and are on a course of more than two weeks duration, are not included in the standard registration population.

    Also excluded from this population are:

    • Dormant students (those who have ceased studying but have not formally de-registered)
    • Incoming visiting and exchange students
    • Students where the whole of the programme of study is outside of the UK.

    And from 2007/08:

    • Students on sabbatical
    • Writing-up students.

    The HESA standard registration population forms the basis for most counts of first year and continuing student instances.

    Domicile

    Domicile data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities and UK nations using the National Statistics Postcode Directory. Countries are mapped to geographical regions following consultation with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). Where no data is supplied about the student's domicile, fee eligibility is used to assign to either UK region unknown or Non-European Union unknown.

    UK domiciled students are those whose normal residence is in the UK, and for the purposes of this publication include Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. (Officially, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK or the EU.)

    (Other) European Union (EU) students are those whose normal residence is in countries which were European Union (EU) members as at 1 December of the reporting period. Where EU countries are shown separately, from 2007/08, individual country figures exclude those domiciled in the country's overseas territories (e.g. Netherlands Antilles, French Guiana). These figures are included in European Union not otherwise specified.

    Non-European Union students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU. Where Non-EU countries are shown separately, individual country figures exclude the country's overseas territories (e.g. Svalbard, Cook Islands). These figures are included in the Other countries not listed category of the geographic area in which they lie.

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