International Undergraduate Students: The UK’s Competitive Advantage
Published on 9 December 2015
91% satisfaction with UK undergraduate education from
international students: The UK has the highest satisfaction ratings
amongst our comparators.
Research released by the UK HE International Unit at
Universities UK today (9th December) shows that the UK
is the global leader in high quality undergraduate education for
international students and "excels in teaching and
learning". The research, International Undergraduate Students:
The UK's Competitive Advantage, shows that a
higher proportion of international students would recommend the UK
than any of its major English-speaking peers.
Key findings include:
- International undergraduate students rate the UK number one for
student satisfaction, ahead of the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany
and New Zealand.
- International undergraduate student satisfaction with UK higher
education is very high at 91% and satisfaction has increased in every area of the learning
- 85% of international undergraduates who study here would
recommend the UK experience to others; the highest recommendation
rate of all of the major English-speaking destinations.
- Despite the UK's improving satisfaction results, some other
countries are enjoying faster growth than the UK.
Universities & Science Minister Jo Johnson
"International students are very
welcome in the UK and play an important role in making our
education system one of the best in the world. These results show
that in return they can expect a truly world leading standard of
teaching and learning. Our Higher Education reforms are putting
students at the heart of the system, making sure that all students
are getting a high quality education wherever they are from."
UK HE International Unit Director Vivienne
students choose the UK for its world leading higher education.
Their experience of learning here and living here means the UK
rates number one for student satisfaction when compared to other
major destinations. The evidence in this report endorses our
universities' hard work to continuously improve the student
experience. Whilst the UK's improving results and higher
satisfaction with the cost of living than main alternative
countries suggest we are heading in the right direction, we cannot
remain complacent. Other countries are increasing their efforts to
attract international students and are enjoying faster growth. The
UK must jointly capitalise on its obvious strengths in order to
drive sustained growth for this critical component of the UK's
higher education system and its broader economy".
The report's author Will Archer, CEO of
"A key factor driving continued
growth is the demonstrated ability of UK universities to deliver on
the promise of a world class undergraduate experience. To have
achieved increases across all measures of the learning experience,
while sustaining such high ratings for student services across a
period of growth, deserves recognition."
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor of
the University of Exeter commented:
"The results of this survey show the
exceptionally high quality of the UK's university experience as
rated by the most important people - our students. The UK's
universities provide an outstanding learning environment for
international students. The rich diversity of excellence amongst UK
universities means that students can find the right course for them
and, most importantly, have a world-leading experience during their
time here. Reputation matters, but what matters most is how our
international students rate us. This survey gives a definitive
answer to that question".
The findings are based on international student experience data
derived from i-graduate's International Student Barometer (ISB),
supported by statistics on international student recruitment and
enrolment in the UK, as well as high level analysis of other major
destinations government policies on recruitment, support and
View the full e-book here.
View the PDF version here.
Note to editor.
1. International Undergraduate Students: The UK's
This research report on international undergraduate students is
part of a series commissioned by the UK International Unit to
examine the UK's market position focusing on international student
recruitment and the international student experience. It
complements two companion reports that look at the UK's competitive
advantage concerning international postgraduate research students
and international taught postgraduate students. The report was
supported by funding from the Department for Business, Innovation
and Skills, UKTI and the Higher Education Funding Council for
2. The UK Higher Education International
The UK Higher Education International Unit (IU) represents UK
universities internationally and works to help them meet their
international aims. We do this by actively promoting UK
universities abroad, providing trusted information for and about
them, and creating new opportunities through our ability to act at
sector level. We draw on UK university expertise to influence
policy in the UK and overseas, and deliver high quality services to
overseas governments and universities themselves to enable engage
with a broader range partners internationally, for mutual
2. Contact: Vikki Challen Head of External
0207 419 5615 or 07787 423 176