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Immigration and Education

The number of Chinese immigrating and coming to study in the UK is growing rapidly

Chinese is the largest group of people migrating to the UK and the number is expected to continue growing further. The two main reasons for them to move to the UK is for immigration and study. In 2017 the tier 1 investor visa starting requiring a minimum of £2 million investment in the UK. Despite this figure, the number of Chinese investors buying their way into the UK was greater than the next biggest recipients, Russia, by 250%. This trend is expected to continue despite the potential effect of Brexit.

A large group of Chinese are moving to the UK for the purpose of studying at UK’s well known institutions. According to the National Statistics, in 2016 there were 82,241 Chinese students granted with study-related visas, excluding short-term students. Compared to 2016, the number increased sharply by 32% to 120,385 students in 2019.

These figures indicate that Chinese students are the largest group of UK overseas students, while also the fastest growing. Among these Chinese students, in 2017 undergraduate and postgraduate students were the largest groups, accounting for 73%. It is also worth noting that about 23% of these students came to the UK for secondary school education, and the number of younger students moving to the UK is also growing.


Chinese is the largest group of non-UK students in UK’s higher education

The UK has more Chinese students than any other country, they account for £1.7billion in tuition fees every year. University College London tops the list as the university taking in the most income from Chinese students at £127million, followed by the University of Manchester at £110million. In terms of the proportion of tuition income paid by Chinese students, the University of Glasgow is most reliant, with a staggering 31 per cent of all tuition fees coming from Chinese students. The University of Liverpool follows closely at 29 per cent.

The UK is expected to see higher levels of immigration in 2021-2025 due to the Hong Kong BNO (British national overseas) visa. According to official estimates by the home office, more than one million Hong Kong nationals will arrive in Britain over the next five years under the new visa program. This will provide a positive boost to the UK economy of between £2.4bn and £2.9bn over the five years.

Among all the higher education students from China, 85% of them choose to study in England. A Chinese Consulting Agency, IDP, have listed the top 10 universities which are the most popular among Chinese students.