One of the UK’s great global competitive strengths is in education, which contributes around £10bn a year in export earnings.
Which is useful at a time when the gap between our earnings from the rest of the world, and what we pay to the rest of the world, has been widening.
So it may be mildly concerning that the number of overseas entrants to British higher education declined in 2012-13 – which is the first numerical fall in 29 years (back in 1983-1984, there were fewer than 50,000 foreigners registered in full-time education in English universities, compared with more than 300,000 today).
Between 2010-11 and 2012-13, there was a fall of 1000 – or 1% – in the number of international entrants to full-time post-graduate programmes, compared with double-digit annual growth for years and years.
The change is statistically significant.
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