5th February 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education bought to you by Education Advisers...
Schools make great leap forward as demand from China surges
Schools and universities are vying to set up campuses and offshoots in China to exploit the growing appetite for British education.
Two independent schools — Reigate Grammar School and Wycombe Abbey — and Liverpool University have all announced new developments during the visit to China by Theresa May.
Shaun Fenton, the headmaster at Reigate, said that it would open five schools in China, starting with one in Nanjing in 2020. It is part of a partnership with Kaiyuan Education Fund, backed by the China Development Bank, a government-run institution.
The schools in China would bring huge benefits to pupils in Britain, Mr Fenton said, by developing international cultural links. Part of the income generated by the schools in China will be used to fund bursaries in the UK.
Plans for a new campus in China for Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University were also announced during the prime minister’s visit. An existing campus — a joint venture between Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University — opened in 2006 in Suzhou.
Foreign students apply to UK in record numbers
The number of foreign students applying to British universities has hit a high, despite warnings about the impact of the Brexit vote on higher education.
More than 100,000 EU and overseas candidates have applied to take up places this autumn, the first official figures for the year show today. This will be welcomed by institutions, which are facing a 2.5 per cent drop in the number of 18-year-olds in Britain compared with last year, resulting in unprecedented numbers of unconditional offers to candidates of all abilities.
The figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) show that application rates reached a record high, increasing by 0.3 percentage points to 37.1 per cent of their peers. This is, however, a proportion of a smaller group. Overall there was a 0.9 per cent reduction in the total number of people applying to higher education compared with last year to 559,000. This reflects the fall in the 18-year-old population in Britain and a fall in applications from older students.
Demand is soaring among students outside the country. The number of EU applicants increased by 3.4 per cent to 43,510, and the number of international applicants increased by 11 per cent to a record of 58,450. Last year the first figures after the referendum showed a decline in EU applicants of 3,000. The new figures are above 2015 numbers, although not as high as in 2016.
Overseas numbers rose by 70 students last year but increased this year by almost 6,000. The number of applications from China rose by 20 per cent, or more than 2,000 students, and from India by 36 per cent or 1,180 students.
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