UK Higher Education: Surge in International Applications Points Towards a Promising Fall Enrolment

Tue Aug 15 2023 Effa Iqbal

Short on time, Here are the highlights:

  • British higher education continues to be popular across the world, as seen by the 2.4% increase in overseas applications for the UK’s 2023–24 academic year compared to the prior year, according to UCAS statistics.
  • Enroly reported striking year-over-year improvements in key enrollment metrics, including tuition deposits growing by 11.67%, CAS issuances rising by 11.36%, and visa issuances astonishingly rising by 62.04%, all of which point to a positive autumn enrollment season.
  • Despite overall growth, enrollments in India and Nigeria have decreased (by 8.38% and 15.35%, respectively). Nigerian numbers are affected financially by currency depreciation, but the upward trajectory of overseas applicants is encouraging for the future of UK higher education.



The United Kingdom’s higher education industry is seeing an encouraging rise in overseas applications as the start of the academic year draws near, indicating a healthy autumn enrollment. According to the most recent statistics from UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), released on July 13, 2023, there has been a consistent increase in the number of overseas applicants.

This increase in interest demonstrates the UK’s continued attractiveness as a center for innovation and education on a global scale.

Steady Growth in International Applications

As of the 30 June deadline, 138,050 foreign student applications had been received by UCAS, the major application service for UK institutions. Over 16% of these applications—or 22,400 applicants—were from students in the European Union (EU).

However, non-EU students made up the bulk of applications, reaching 115,650. According to this information, there were 2.4% more applications than at the same time in 2022. Despite a slight decline in EU applications, the overall rising trend is still being driven by an increase in non-EU applicants.

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Enroly positive metric

Along with these positive numbers, Enroly, a well-known platform for enrollment conversion, reports significant year-over-year growth in key indicators. According to Enroly’s data, tuition deposits have increased by 11.67%, CAS issuances have increased by 11.36%, and visa issuance has increased by an astounding 62.04%.

The research by Enroly is based on a big dataset that includes more than 100,000 offers made to overseas students. Impressively, the Enroly platform is used to manage almost 25% of all admissions for international students in the UK.

There are noticeable changes in some markets, notwithstanding the general rise. According to Enroly’s findings, fewer Indian and Nigerian students would join for the academic year 2023–2024. Nigerian enrollments have dropped significantly, by 15.35%, while Indian enrollments have declined by 8.38%.

The recent devaluation of the naira, Nigeria’s currency, is to blame for the lower demand from students in Nigeria. More students are now having trouble paying for their education for the forthcoming academic year due to this financial hardship.

Optimistic outlook for UK higher Education

These figures demonstrate the higher education sector’s resiliency in the face of global problems. The ongoing increase in overseas enrollment and applications shows how desirable a British education continues to be.

The sector’s dedication to providing high-quality education and promoting student achievement is highlighted by its capacity to adjust to changing conditions and offer creative solutions to potential overseas students.

The excitement shown by these numbers bodes well for both universities and overseas students looking for a life-changing education in the United Kingdom as they prepare for the forthcoming academic year.

The sector’s ability to withstand challenges while retaining its reputation for quality is evidence of the UK higher education system’s lasting power.


What does the reportedly 2.4% rise in overseas applications mean?

The rise reflects the sustained interest in UK higher education on a worldwide scale as well as the country’s reputation for excellence and innovation.

An advantageous autumn enrollment season is indicated by the platform of Enroly, which displays a considerable increase in tuition deposits, CAS issuances, and visas issued.

Why have enrollments in India and Nigeria decreased despite overall growth?

The reduction in enrollment in Nigeria (-15.35%) and India (-8.38%) is ascribed to problems such as currency depreciation that impact students’ capacity to pay for their education.



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