• World - Europe
  • Updated: May 30, 2023

Ten Countries With Most Students In The United Kingdom

Most students who wished to pursue a career or advance in their academic pursuits have made the UK their preferred choice. 

This has established an environment that promotes and fosters learning, as well as other advantages associated with having foreign students come from all over the world to study; regardless of race or background, there is always a place for everyone.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom has built a hospitable atmosphere for people that guarantees safety in living and has set procedures in place so that everyone taking the opportunity can have a chance at life.

Meanwhile, many have taken advantage of this chance to come to the UK, either through a full scholarship, a partial (50% scholarship), or by sponsoring their studies.

Although the number of international students has recently increased, with more opting to study in the UK.

This has increased the number of persons entering the UK via that route, which has doubled with the number of dependents accompanying them.

This appears to be an issue with the UK government, which is attempting to restrict overseas students from entering the UK with their families.

Below are ten countries with the most students in the UK.

10. Italy: 11,320 (1.7%)

Around 11,320 students from Italy study abroad in the UK, which represents 1.7% of all foreign students there.

There is little variation in the number of people from Italy and France who study in the UK, even though Italy and France are the top two EU nations on this list with the same proportion.

With a total of 9,580 students, Italy ranks second in Europe for the number of students it sends to England.

There are more than 120,000 students from Italy and other European nations studying in the UK.

9. France: 11,870 (1.7%)

France is the second EU nation to be included on this list, and it also has more students studying in the United Kingdom than any other nation in Europe.

With a 1.7% share of all overseas students studying in the UK, around 12,000 French students are studying in a variety of fields in the UK. 

As of February 2022, France had over 4,355 newly enrolled students from throughout the UK's institutions, totalling about 9,910 students. More of its citizens were studying in England.

8. Malaysia: 12,135 (1.8%)

Following slight declines in prior years, Malaysia grew this year as well, with over 12,000 students presently enrolled in the United Kingdom.

It is one of the top nations with the most students in the UK that has had considerable growth, with over 9,170 presently admitted into various programs across varied institutions in the UK, up from approximately 6,856 nationals at various universities at the end of the year 2022.

7. Bangladesh: 12,700 (1.9%)

Bangladesh is the world's eighth-most populated country, with a population of around 169 million people, and is located in South Asia on the Asian continent.

It presently has around 12,700 students studying in the UK, accounting for 1.9% of all overseas students studying in the UK.

Furthermore, Bangladesh finished the year 2022 with around 15,277 students, a 775% rise from 2019, according to reports, with 9,170 new enrollments as of the 2021/22 session.

6. Hong Kong: 17,630 (2.6%)

There are 17,630 students from Hong Kong enrolled in various academic programs at several UK institutions.

About 390,615 students from Hong Kong and other Asian nations are now enrolled at institutions in the United Kingdom.

As of 2023, Hong Kong will have roughly 8,170 total students enrolled in new programs across several disciplines in UK universities. 

Similar to Nigeria and several of the other nations on this list, Hong Kong has 7,941 of its citizens enrolled at UK institutions as of December 31, 2022, a considerable rise from the previous year.


5.  United States: 22,990 (3.4%)

One would ask why there are so many Americans studying at various higher education institutions in the UK. 

3.4% of all foreign students in the United Kingdom majoring in various fields of study are from the United States.

As of the end of 2022, the US had issued around 14,566 new entrance visas, a little (+2%) increase over the previous year, according to sources. 

There will be greater growth in Americans pursuing educational degrees in the UK as students are more likely to select the UK as their study abroad destination even before the US and Canada.

4. Pakistan: 23,075 (3.4%)

Pakistan, the first Arab nation to be included on this list, has seen a rise in the acceptance of sponsored visas, albeit not to the same extent as the first top three nations.

As of February 2023, there will be roughly 16,550 students from Pakistan enrolled in schools across the United Kingdom, increasing the total number of new students and visas accepted to over 23,000.

Pakistan accounts for around 3.4% of the total population among the top 10 nations with the most students in the UK.

3. Nigeria: 44,195 (6.5%)

With more than 220 million citizens, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa.

It is also the only nation from Africa to appear on this list and is ranked third overall.

Nigeria is one of the nations with the greatest number of students studying in the UK, along with the other nations already listed.

On the other hand, Nigeria currently has over 44,000 students studying in the UK at various educational levels. 

Although this number is not as high as that of China and India, Nigeria has seen an exponential rise in the number of visas granted in recent years, with sources estimating that the total number of student visas approved in 2022 will be around 59,053.

Nigeria has also seen a sharp rise in the acceptance of dependent visas, in addition to a significant increase in visa acceptance for study purposes.

With 31,898 dependent visas issued alongside them, around 34,031 Nigerian students came to the UK in 2020–21; however, in 2022–23, the number of dependents for every 59,053 Nigerian students climbed to 60,923.

2. India: 126,535 (18.6%)

India has surpassed China to become the world's most populated nation, and it has the second-highest number of students studying in the UK with over 126,535 students enrolled at present.

With a rise of 105,278 (+307%) from 2019 to the end of 2022, the number of sponsorship visas granted to Indian citizens would reach roughly 139,539, placing India above China in terms of visa priority for studying in the UK.

Additionally, it is predicted that 38,990 dependents accompanied 139,539 Indian students in 2022–2023; the aggregate number of dependents has climbed more than 8 times in the past three years.

Likewise, India has 87,045 new enrolments as of February 2023, an increase from previous years with about (+44%) in the number of accepted applicants.

1. China: 151,690 (22.3%)

China leads this list with 151,690 Chinese students studying in the UK, accounting for around 22.3% of all overseas students presently studying in the UK.

Meanwhile, this overall statistic includes students pursuing undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees at several UK universities.

In addition to having a larger percentage of visa grants for students to study in the UK, Chinese nationals make up the majority of foreign students in most institutions in the UK.

However, to avoid becoming overly reliant on international students from China for funding, some schools have reduced the number of visas issued to Chinese students for study.

Chinese students constitute the majority of international students in some schools in the UK such as Southampton: 60.5%; RCA: 59.8%; Sheffield: 57.8%; York: 56.2%; Birmingham: 50.3%; and Manchester: 49.9%.

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