US universities increasingly attractive to UK students

Over ten thousand British students are now studying in the US, a recent report has shown.

The study, conducted by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, which promotes transatlantic study, and the Institute for International Education (IIE) indicated that the number of British students studying in the US increased eight per cent during the last academic year.

This trend has been attributed to recent recruitment campaigns by many of the Ivy League institutions including the Universities of Harvard, Yale and New York.

Between 2013 and 2014, 10,191 British students applied to study in the US, an increase of almost seven hundred in comparison with the previous year.

Britain, however, only represents a small number of the net overseas intake with over 270,000 students embarking on degree courses in the US between 2013 and 2014, according to the IIE. This was an increase of over 19,000 compared to the 2012/2013 academic year.

Since 2004, the number of British students heading to study in the US has increased by over a fifth.

Meanwhile, Britain has been losing out on the number of students from outside the European Union coming to study at its universities. Data shows that there was a 1.3 per cent decrease in the number of these students enrolling in UK institutions during the 2012-2013 academic year.

In light of this recent report, Robbie Willis, Head of International Recruitment and Development at the University of Edinburgh’s International Office, told The Student: “UK students have considered study options in the USA for many years so this is not a new trend but is a growing one.

“The introduction of tuition fees throughout the rest of the UK is certainly the biggest factor in the rising interest, but there is also evidence of students from the rest of the UK also looking to options in mainland Europe where tuition is well subsidised and programmes are available in English, in The Netherlands and Scandinavia for example.”

Willis also stressed the relevance of the university’s recently-opened North American Office in facilitating study in the USA: “The Office will manage diverse activities including fundraising, recruitment, alumni engagement, collaboration with funders and sponsors of research. The focus of the North American Office reflects the strength and quality of our alumni network and student recruitment in the USA and Canada.”

Like Willis, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission, Penny Egan, suggested that government policies were having an impact on the number of British students seeking to study in the USA. She said: “The introduction of £9,000 fees has certainly had an impact. There are more generous bursaries and need-blind [financial aid] admissions in the States. Although the competition is fierce, if you are academically able and unable to pay, you are likely to get a reasonably good financial offer.”

Recent data also shows, however, that there are an increasing number of US students seeking higher education in the UK. Currently, over 36,000 American students are thought to be studying in UK institutions.

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