The number of international students applying through UCAS has increased by 3% since last year, the application operator has said as it released its data for June.
Almost 135,000 international students have applied, with the 31,400 applicants from China representing an increase of 10% from 2021. Nigerian application numbers have also increased by 58%, while Indian applicants rose 20%.
A total of 111,720 non-EU international students applied through UCAS’s process, up from 89,420 two years ago.
The 23,160 students from the EU applying through UCAS is a further fall from 2021 when 28,120 applied from the bloc. In 2020, the number was 49,350, (as shown in the graph below).
UCAS has previously said that around 75-80% of EU domiciled students and around two thirds of non-EU students typically apply via its platform.
The data also showed a record application from domestic students in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods across the UK, with a total application rate for 18-year-olds in the country reaching 44.1%.
With more than 683,650 applicants – an increase of 1,600 on 2021 – making around 3,049,000 applications via the platform, record numbers of students are expected to start higher education courses in autumn.
“Over the next few weeks, we’ll see a huge effort across the education sector to support more than 700,000 students begin the next chapter in their educational journey,” Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, said.
For those students holding conditional offers, UCAS expects record numbers of students will get their firm choice this year on results days, she added.
“A record number of students from the UK and beyond are choosing the high-quality experience at UK universities,” Christopher Hale, interim CEO of Universities UK, said.
“Going to university continues to be a good option and there is strong employer demand for graduate skills.”
Director of Policy at the Russell Group, Sarah Stevens, added that it will be a competitive year for admissions.
“Efforts to attract students from across the world like the graduate route are beginning to pay dividends”
“Russell Group universities are working hard to give as many people the opportunity to study with them as they can, while maintaining a high-quality experience for students,” she said.
UCAS added that there “will be plenty of choice available to students who are unplaced or use Clearing as an opportunity to rethink their plans”, with close to 30,000 courses available through clearing.
“Today’s figures also show that despite a highly competitive environment, the UK remains a world-class destination for international students,” Stevens continued.
“The strong growth in applications from India and Nigeria, prioritised in the UK’s International Education Strategy, demonstrate efforts to attract students from across the world like the graduate route are beginning to pay dividends.”