Statement from the 1994 Group on the launch of Education UK

Alex Bols, Executive Director of the 1994 Group, said:


“Following the recent 24% drop in Indian student applications we welcome this initiative to promote UK education in India and the Middle East. The UK’s excellent education system is clearly in a strong position to capitalise on the increasing demand for high quality education. UKTI’s investment shows that the UK is open for business and reinforces the message that there is no cap on the number of legitimate students.


“However we need more joined-up Government. UKTI on the one hand is promoting UK education whilst at the same time the Home Office and UKBA is restricting access. The Government’s ambition to limit net migration to “tens of thousands” is in clear conflict with the wish to expand the UK’s share of the international student market. The Government must remove international students from UK net migration figures, and only include those that stay after study, in order to achieve its ambitions.


“This team should focus on a proactive publicity campaign to combat growing fears that the UK is not welcoming to international students. They should also help students navigate the student visa process which could present a potential barrier for some students.


“International students are an important revenue stream to the UK and, as well as providing employers with a pool of highly talented, well-educated graduates, they add welcome cultural diversity to our campuses.”



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Notes to Editor

Higher education is growing worldwide. Ernst & Young estimate that the global market is growing at 6.6%, with developing countries like India and China clocking in at much faster rates (15-20%). To put the economic potential in perspective, Universities UK predict that at current rates international university students will add £16.9bn to the economy by 2020.


The 1994 Group represents 11 leading universities. It was founded to promote excellence in research and teaching. According to the most recent assessments, 88% of its members’ research is internationally recognised (RAE 2008) and 88% of its members’ students were satisfied with their university experiences (NSS 2012). In 2011, its members added £1.7bn to the UK economy, fulfilled over 1800 research contracts for business, and held stakes in 34 spin-out companies.

6 of the top 30 universities in the Guardian University Guide 2013 are 1994 Group members; 7 of the top 30 universities in the Complete University Guide 2012 are 1994 Group members;

11 of the UK’s top-ranked research departments are in 1994 members, and all its members have a top-3 rated department for research excellence.

The 1994 Group represents Birkbeck, University of London; the University of East Anglia; the University of Essex; Goldsmiths, University of London; the Institute of Education, University of London; Royal Holloway, University of London; Lancaster University; the University of Leicester; Loughborough University; the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the University of Sussex.

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