A drop in the number of students from India, Saudi Arabia and the USA applying to study in Norwich is a warning signal, the University of East Anglia’s vice chancellor said.

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Edward Acton believes the Home Office’s immigration policy – including plans to include international student numbers in a cap on numbers – is creating a hostile environment for overseas learners hoping to do a degree in Britain.

Having previously warned that policy would put off non-EU students – and impact on university finances, the local economy, and the cultural experience of their fellow learners – he now believes it has already started to happen.

Figures from the UEA’s admissions department show the number of Indian students applying to study there dropped from 836 to 716 between 2010/11 and 2011/12. Numbers for this year remain more than 200 adrift of last year’s total.

Applications from students from Saudi Arabia have also decreased markedly from 636 in 2010/11 to 542 in 2011/12 and just 398 so far this year, while the United States is also showing less interest.

But the number of Chinese students is continue to grow rapidly – from 4,203 in 2010/11 to 7,240 so far this year.

Prof Acton said that masked the more worrying figures elsewhere.

“UEA is bucking the trend but even UEA is seeing a decline in key markets,” he said. “While China continues to grow, the overall numbers remain upwardly inclined, but the warning signals are very seriously flashing.”

The vice chancellor admitted the high number of Chinese students joining the university meant finances would remain healthy but said that was not the only benefit of welcoming international learners.

“At this university, we love students coming from China but neither they nor home students or other students want it to be disproportionate,” he said.

“Of course it’s true from a narrow view of university finances but we are about much more than income. We’re about providing the best experience of worldwide citizenship. The university also benefits from having alumni in the every county in the world with whom Britain wishes to trade.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “We want to attract the brightest and the best students to this country and those with the right qualifications and adequate English are welcome to study here.

“There is no limit on the number of overseas students who can come to the UK to study and recent figures show acceptances for international students is up 4pc this year.”

9 comments

  • Hit a nerve there Larson. Perhaps you work in the UEA and are defending the in-defencible !. . Now read the latest papers from the USA which state that Al Gore manipulated it for his own ends, but the UEA still went along with it. It turned out to be a crock of ****.

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    "V"

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Prof Acton is the designer of UEA's increased lobbying of students from abroad, he created this dependence and foible for higher fee payers and gambled UEA expansion on it. Now the economy is dire, he laments and blames the Government for looking harder.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • edward acton is just another do gooder who cannot se that the student visa system is just another way students are gaining entry to the uk to claim asylum and has been abused for many years especially under labour

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • They all know what a laugh this university is with the climate change debacle. Still never mind, gets any worse then all the so called lecturers and chancellors will have to get a job in the real world.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Perhaps the fall in foreign students might concentrate the minds of universities on providing a better service for the tuition fees.Contact time for those in subjects other than the sciences and engineering seems to be falling year on year, to the point where one wonders if Gates is right and students might as well study for their degrees online. I am aware of students who have graduated from universities other than the UEA who have said that their courses were not enhanced by having large numbers of those who had English as a second language and that whilst many had perfect English there was some doubt as to how and why others were allowed onto courses.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Daisy. the reason they are allowed on courses is that it would "breach their human rights" and to make it look good for the PC brigade. Never mind that the British are discriminated against, like myself who was told I was too old to study at 24 years old.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Larson. What a load of rubbish. I will just say, the hockey stick graph. That will tell you all you need to know. As for "so called" I will change that to "laughingly called". Hows that.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • V : ** " They all know what a laugh this university is with the climate change debacle.** ". There were six independent inquiries into the leaked emails ( in this country and the USA ). None found any evidence of wrong doing. And the use of the expression " so called " in any post is the sure sign of the half wit.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • To the so called " V ". Read the 2006 report of the US National Academy of Science into the validity of Michael Mann's hockey stick graph. They conclude ....." "The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world". So the graph is correct.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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