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More national and international students are choosing to study in Wales

12 Dec 2021 3 minutes Read
Bangor University

New data published by UCAS suggests Welsh universities make Wales one of the most attractive destinations in the UK for both national and international students.

Data released for 2021 shows that Welsh universities saw one of the biggest increases amongst the UK nations with 1,875 international students accepting a place, a 19% jump on last year.

The data also shows an increase of 6% in the number of Welsh domiciled students applying to university which UCAS suggests reflects continued strong demand for higher education amongst young people in Wales.

This figure is part of a broader positive trend, with the total number of applicants accepted by Welsh universities up by 1.5% compared to this point last year, meaning that Wales is the only UK nation to see an overall increase.

Professor Iwan Davies, Chair of Global Wales, which is an international partnership between Universities Wales, the Welsh Government, British Council Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, praised what he called the “flexible and innovative approach” taken by universities to attract and welcome students.

He said: “By coming to Wales, international students play an invaluable role in diversifying and internationalising our campuses and communities at a time when retaining an international outlook is more important than ever.

“Against the backdrop of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is highly encouraging to see that international enrolments have remained strong and international applications have increased across Wales.”

Social & cultural opportunities

Professor Davies added: “Global Wales provides an opportunity to capitalise on the strengths of our universities while also supporting Wales to define its role on the world stage. With the project’s continued support, I am confident that Welsh universities will remain on track to achieve their aim of growing international student numbers to 30,000 by 2030.”

Chair of Universities Wales Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: “These latest UCAS figures show that there continues to be strong demand for higher education in Wales with more young people than ever before choosing to go to university.

“The university experience offers a wide range of benefits for students: not just in employment prospects but also in the wider social and cultural opportunities that our institutions offer. It is great to see a record number of young people continue to value these opportunities.

“These figures also reflect the distinct offer universities in Wales have for students including an excellent student experience, as reflected in the National Student Survey, and our retention rates which remain the highest in the UK.

“Our students are an important and valued part of our communities across Wales. We wish all those who have joined our universities this year, from Wales and further afield, the very best.”


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Michael Rieveley
Michael Rieveley
6 months ago

This is encouraging news that Welsh universities are attracting both international and students from within Wales to study. Particularly at a time where the attitude of the current UK government is so insular and negative and discouraging.
The addition of both international students and those from Wales can only be of benefit for the future prosperity and overall well-being of Wales.

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
6 months ago

Well said let’s hope we can encourage many of these students to stay and become job creators

Dave
Dave
6 months ago

Hopefully the old school tie network will end and a true meritocracy will prevail.

BobSnail
BobSnail
6 months ago

More Welsh university towns and cities will become like Bangor with lots of scruffy student accommodation houses, family homes demolished to make way for even more student flats. Beware what you wish for.

Alun Davies
Alun Davies
6 months ago

Very encouraging, but can I ask the question: if these statistics are based on last year, when everything was affected by Covid, were last year’s figures lower than the previous years, and, if so, how do this year’s figures compare to 2019? Is this a case of ‘lies, damn lies, and statistics,’? I genuinely hope not.

Sean
Sean
6 months ago
Reply to  Alun Davies

1,560 in 2018 and 1,645 in 2019 so a genuine increase.

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