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Brexit-hit UK universities to recruit more Indian, Chinese students

China and India are expected to be at the forefront of this overseas student influx, with university chiefs expecting their figures to surpass that of British students across UK campuses

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Brexit-hit UK universities to recruit more Indian, Chinese students

Some of Britain's leading universities struggling with a funding crunch in the face of are expected to increasingly turn to recruiting more overseas students, who pay much higher fees than locals.

and are expected to be at the forefront of this overseas student influx, with chiefs expecting their figures to surpass that of British students across UK campuses.

Anton Muscatelli, of and of the Russell Group, which represents the UK's 24 leading institutions, told 'The Sunday Times' that leading universities were now likely to try to recruit many more overseas students - particularly from and - to offset a series of financial challenges.

Muscatelli, who is considering increasing the proportion of Glasgow's (EU) and overseas students to up to half the total, said, "Many universities will try to do this because it will be the only way to respond to a sudden fall in income".

According to the report, the UK's higher education sector faces "a triple whammy" as if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, leaders say it would be "catastrophic", with the UK cut out of 1.3 billion pounds of EU research funding and a collapse in EU student numbers.

In addition, an imminent government review is expected to recommend lowering the fees universities can charge undergraduates from the UK to 6,500 pounds a year.

Michael Arthur, of University College London, said it might have to boost EU and overseas students to 50 per cent and cut its proportion of UK students in the face of deep uncertainty about the sector's financial future.

is already seeking to boost overseas student numbers by up to seven per cent.

Steve Smith, its vice-chancellor, said universities made money on overseas students but only broke even on UK students. In London, foreign students already outnumber British ones at the School of Economics, where almost two-thirds are from abroad, and at

Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University, told the newspaper that British students may feel increasingly uncomfortable at universities dominated by Chinese and Indian students.

He also warned that the government would face pressure for migration rules to be changed to allow overseas students to work after they finished their degrees.

"That would impact on the job prospects of British students," said Smithers.

At top universities, overseas students pay more than 30,000 pounds a year for a five-year medical degree, nearly four times as much as UK students whose fees are capped at 9,250 pounds.

First Published: Sun, January 06 2019. 19:00 IST
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