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International Students’ Day: the top UK universities for international students based on spending and popularity

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New research determines the top 10 UK universities for international students based on spending, percentage of international students, and QS world ranking

Wednesday 17 November is International Students’ Day and is marked around the world as a celebration of international students. Being an international student always takes an element of courage, as students seek to expand their horizons and learn from others around the world.

The UK is consistently increasing in popularity to international students, in fact in 2019/2020 there were 556,625 students studying in the UK, that’s an increase of 12.1% from the previous year. However, one dilemma many international students face is which university is right for them? 

One of the UK’s leading academic research companies, Ivory Research, have revealed the top ten UK universities for international students, based on investment figures, universities with the highest percentage of international students and world rankings*.

Who spends the most to support international students?

  1. Edge Hill University

  2. University of Winchester

  3. University of Dundee

  4. Kingston University

  5. University of Cumbria 

  6. University of St Andrews 

  7. Cardiff University 

  8. Liverpool John Moores University 

  9. Coventry University 

  10. University of East Anglia

Which UK universities have the highest percentage of international students?

  1. Regent’s University London (81.45%)

  2. London School of Economics and Political Science (67.8%)

  3. University of the Arts, London (53.87%)

  4. University College London (49.08%)

  5. Cranfield University (44.46%)

  6. The University of St Andrews (43.9%)

  7. SOAS University of London (42.36%)

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  8. The University of Edinburgh (41.34%)

  9. King’s College London (40.7)

  10. BPP University (37.99%)

Which UK universities rank the highest in the QS world rankings 2020?

  1. University of Oxford (4th)

  2. University of Cambridge (7th)

  3. University College London, UCL (8th) 

  4. Imperial College London (9th)

  5. University of Edinburgh (20th) 

  6. The University of Manchester (27th)

  7. King’s College London (33rd) 

  8. London School of Economics and Political Science (44th) 

  9. University of Bristol (49th)

  10. The University of Warwick (62nd) 

Maria Ovdii, from Ivory Research, said:

“It’s hardly surprising that the UK is so popular for international students as it boasts world-renowned universities, a culturally diverse environment, and highly skilled academic staff. The impact of the pandemic has seen international students across the globe face unprecedented challenges, and so the daunting task of travelling thousands of miles to study became even more challenging.

“Our research shows that while some of the UK universities rank among the top 50 in the world, it’s the London universities that prove the most popular among international students. Not only that, the research findings on spending per international students are rather shocking, with some universities spending as little as 73p extra for support!

“There are over 150 universities to choose from in the UK and picking just one to study at is difficult, so when looking make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Where do you want to live? Do you want to be in a big city or somewhere with a smaller population?

  2. How much does this university support international students like you?

  3. How does each university teach your subject?

“University rankings are useful but don’t always rely on them, you must pick the University that’s the best fit for you.”

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