Number of International Students Plunging at Christ Church University

The number of foreign students attending Canterbury Christ Church University has decreased by nearly 50% since 2010, it has been revealed in a Freedom of Information Request.

Over 1,500 non-UK students were present at the university eight years ago, however this number decreased to 823 during the academic year 2018/19.

Augustine House, Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University. Credit: David Anstiss

Emma Grafton-Williams, the media relations officer at the university, said: “In recent years universities across the UK have seen a decrease in students applying to study from EU and non-EU countries.

“Changes to the British Visa rules including the removal of the Post Study work visa, as well as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit played a part in affecting students applying to study in the UK.”

Figures fell every year from 2010/11 until 2016/17, decreasing from 1557 students to 731 in this period.

The outcome of the 2016 referendum has appeared to contribute to the fall in these numbers, as has the possibility of acquiring more student debt.

Josephine Joly is from France, and is currently studying at the university: “Brexit made me feel like I would be unwelcome if I came to England and tuition fees made me think about going to university in another country.”

Students in a lecture. Credit: Tulane Public Relations

The decision to increase university tuition fees from £6,000 to £9,000 was announced in November 2010, and up to this point Christ Church was seeing a continual increase in non-UK students arriving to study.

The academic year 2008/09 had 1,294 foreign students and 1,321 the following year, before a peak of 1,557 during 2010/11. Yet it was during this peak that the government announced plans to increase the fees.

A gradual decrease then occurred in 2011, before the biggest drop happened in 2012/13, the time at which students would now be charged extra in fees.

This meant that the university lost 33% of its foreign students in just two years – figures they haven’t reached again since.

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