According to 2019/2020 statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the experts in UK higher education data and the designated data body for England, there was an increase of 60,310 non-UK student Higher Education enrolments from 2018/2019 academic year, with most of the increase attributed to non-EU students.

The United Kingdom, comprising of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, has one of the most prestigious and established university systems and is home to many world-class universities that many international students aspire to be in. Year on year, there’s an increase in the number of students from overseas entering the UK to pursue a degree in one of the internationally recognised higher education providers in the world as well as experience the diverse and welcoming culture of the UK.

In 2019/2020, China sent more students to the UK than any other country, eating 35% of non-EU students’ pie. Similarly, India’s student enrolments over five years have notably increased, representing 14% of all non-EU enrolments in 2019/20.

The UK Government’s continued efforts to support the international education sector are reflected in the updated International Education Strategy. The new Graduate route allows students who have completed an undergraduate or master’s in the UK to stay in the UK to work or look for work, for 2 years. Meanwhile, The Student route now enables prospective students to make immigration applications from outside the UK, removes study time limits at the postgraduate level, and allows students at all levels to apply for further leave as a student or to move into another immigration route from within the UK.

Top 10 Courses in the UK

With all things set in the UK’s end, the ball is now on the aspiring students to design their study pathway, starting with choosing the best course that suits their background and needs.

Here are the top 10 most popular subject areas according to HESA’s 2019/20 student enrolments data:

  1. Business and Management
  2. Subjects allied to medicine such as those related to human health such as nursing, pharmacy, and anatomy. More than half of students in the subjects allied to medicine subject area study for nursing qualifications.
  3. Social Sciences
  4. Creative Arts and Design
  5. Engineering and Technology
  6. Computing
  7. Education and Teaching
  8. Law
  9. Psychology
  10. Biological and Sports Sciences

In the 2019/20 academic year, business and management was most popular subject group with 16% of all students enrolling in this subject. Meanwhile, among science subjects, subjects allied to medicine were the most popular for students, accounting for a quarter of all science subject enrolments. In terms of diversity, there were fewer females studying science subjects than males in 2019/20. Moreover, 82% of students studying veterinary sciences were female while only 20% of female students enrolled in engineering and technology and computing courses.

Choosing what degree to pursue ticks off one major task in the to-do lists when crafting a study plan, whether locally or overseas. In whatever phase you are in now in considering an international education in the UK, consult with reliable education counsellors  as soon as you can to help you map out a sound student pathway.