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Tag Archives: policy change

May 9, 2024


The United Kingdom’s Home Office recently released data revealing a significant decline in student visa applications during the first quarter of 2024. This downturn coincides with new immigration policies, particularly one preventing international students from bringing accompanying family members, which has led to a 44% decrease in study visa applications overall.

Impact of Policy Changes:

As of January 2024, international students are restricted from bringing accompanying family members while studying in the UK. This policy change has had a profound effect, particularly on applications from accompanying dependants, which saw an alarming 80% decrease compared to the same period in 2023. The total number of applications from main applicants also declined by over 27% over the past two years.

Trends in Student Visa Applications:

Data indicates a spike in applications immediately after the announcement of the ban on dependants in May 2023, followed by a gradual decline. While applications from main applicants experienced a slight uptick in late 2023, they failed to reach previous levels. Meanwhile, dependants’ applications continued to plummet through March 2024.

Regional Disparities:

The impact of these policy changes varies across different regions. Indian and Nigerian student applications have notably decreased, with Indian applications slipping by 13% in 2023 and Nigerian applications plummeting by 63.5%. In contrast, Chinese student applications increased in 2023.

Effects on Higher Education Institutions:

UK universities and business schools are feeling the brunt of these policy changes. Enrolments in postgraduate-taught courses have declined significantly, with international student enrolments dropping by 44% on average in January 2024 compared to the previous year. Business schools, in particular, are experiencing declines in non-EU enrolments, affecting their income and potentially compromising the quality of teaching and research.

Government Review and Additional Challenges:

The UK government’s forthcoming review of the Graduate Route, which allows international students to stay in the UK after completing their studies, adds to the uncertainty faced by international students and institutions alike. Additionally, a recent 65% increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge fee further burdens international students.


The recent drop in student visa applications in the UK underscores the significant impact of immigration policy changes on international student demand. As universities brace for further challenges, it remains to be seen how these developments will shape the landscape of higher education in the UK and its attractiveness to international students in the coming years.

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