London Welcomes Indian Students, As UK becomes Most Popular Overseas Study Destination

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London Welcomes Indian Students
  • UK sees the biggest growth of International students from India at 35%
  • Growth rate of international students into London hits highest level in decade
  • UK surges ahead of US to become world’s most attractive higher education destination

Overseas students are increasingly selecting London as their study destination of choice; this is especially true for Indian students. With 2018-19 representing a record year for international students in the UK capital in the past decade.

According to new data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the total number of international students grew 5.8%, representing an uplift in overseas students for the 6th consecutive year, reinforcing London’s reputation as a top Higher Education destination on the global stage.

The total number of international students at London’s universities in 2018-19 was 125,035, up 5.8% from 2017-18 and a rise on last year’s growth rate of 5.3%, demonstrating the UK capital’s growing appeal for prospective students.

It marks an impressive period of growth for India, which returned to being London’s third largest international student market after falling to fourth position three years earlier. Indian student numbers grew by 34.7% in 2018-19, seeing the largest numbers since 2011-12.

However, China remains London’s largest international student market, with 25,650 students enrolled at universities in the UK capital.

Applications may have been encouraged by the recent reintroduction of the two-year post-study visa for international students by the UK government, allowing overseas graduates a longer period of time to look for employment after their studies.  


London’s Top 10 International Student Markets:

2018/19 Rank2017/18 RankCountry2017/182018/19Percentage Change
11China2130025650+20.4%
22United States70507460+5.8%
34India53357185+34.7%
43Italy56955625-1.2%
55France44754650+3.9%
66Hong Kong39854015+0.8%
77Germany38304000+4.4%
88Malaysia29952910-2.8%
910Spain26702890+8.2%

London Leads the Way in University Rankings:- In September, four London universities were listed in the top 40 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings, more than any other city in the world. Universities included were Imperial College (10), University College London (15), London School of Economics and Political Science (27) and King’s College London (36).

Best Student City:- London holds the crown as the world’s best city for students, according to the QS Best Student Cities Ranking, by global education consultancy QS Quacquarelli Symonds. London beat international cities Tokyo (2nd) and Melbourne (3rd) to first place for the second consecutive year in July 2019.

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business said,“I’m delighted to see so many young people from across the world choosing London to pursue their higher education. In doing so, they’re becoming part of a global community that has produced some of the world’s most exciting and innovative companies. With its world-leading universities, thriving business ecosystem and unrivalled cultural landscape, studying in London offers the opportunity to be part of a city at the forefront of creativity and innovation.”

Lalage Clay, Director of Education and Talent at London & Partners which runs Study London said, “These new figures are a resounding endorsement of our world-leading universities and our great city. Whether it’s fashion or financial economics, accountancy or art history, prospective international students know when they choose London, they are choosing a first-class education and a cultural experience like no other. We look forward to welcoming more international students to the capital this year!”