International student migration to the UK Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 1 November 2016

International student migration to the UK

Since the policy of UK’s government on immigration dramatically changed in 1997, a positive immigration policy was carried out by the UK government, especially towards temporary skilled immigration (Stam.A, 2006). Thus students migration increasingly became representative of this kind of migration. This students migration trend brings various effects to the UK student immigration pattern as well as the entire UK. Therefore, this essay aims to demonstrate the effect of students migration in China and European country, particularly, analyze the major cause of students migration , then compare the different causes in these two typical examples and evaluate the differences in my perspective.

The similar significant effect of students migration in China and European country to the UK is the increasing number of students. According to the report from European Union (EU) after 2004, the A8 countries (from Eastern Europe who joined the EU in the largest single expansion since its creation in 1957) had a great number of increasing students inflow of A8 students to the UK annually (see figure 1). In the academic year of 2008/09 there were approximately 17,000 Higher education students who were domiciled in A8 countries. From this data, it is clear draws the conclusion that the annual students migration at A8 countries were increased.

Over the long term, the effects of this immigration pause on the size of European community of education more small. In addition, Non-European country still send large students to the UK. Based on the statistics from UK Higher Education Statistics Agency, during the period of 1995 and 2003, overseas students increase in number from 206,000 to just over 300,000. It claims that overseas students represented over 13% of the entire UK Higher Education student population. (Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2005). In part of Non-European countries’ student migration, the largest contribution comes from Asia (see figure 2).

Figure 1 A8 student numbers in Higher Education institutions in England and Wales, 2001/02 – 2008/09 (Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2010)

Figure 2 Nationality of foreign students entering the UK, 2004-2010 ( Source :Home Office, Control of Immigration :Statistics UK, 2010)

However, in terms of the situation in China, the major effect of students migration is not only the increased number of students, but also the financial contribution to the UK government and some negative social effect. According to the survey during 2003-2004, the 43,000 international students from China contributed at least 300 million pounds and increased more 30% than the previous year. Furthermore, this trend still gives rise to the social issues. For instance, some wealthier students might has showed off their high level of consumption which may attract the increased robbery and bring the threat to their safety and even undoubtedly arise the crime rate in local community (Wei .S, 2005). From this case of Chinese students migration, it claims that the effects of student migration have both positive and negative sides.

In spite of the effects that European country and China caused, the major reason which causes these effects should be pay more attention to analyze. Just as Mr. Willetts spoken at conference of University UK, “Without international students, we could not be only poorer economically-we could also be more boring, more insular, and more ignorant of wider world.”(BBC News, 2012). On the one hand, economy drive more Chinese students migration to the UK. After the opening-up Chinese economy reforms since 1970s, many Chinese migrants are chasing the better economic development and have significant migration inflows from China.

So students migration becomes the main trend to meet requirements as a consequence of rapid development of economy requires more educated talent in work force. Thus,a great number of parents pull and push their children to study in the UK in order to acquire level of English, study at higher academic reputational university. In contrast, the cause in European country is different. The citizens from A8 country in European started to be implement the fewer restriction on their right entering the UK (Gillingham.E, 2010) and it has reflected on the area of students migration. Specifically, as a result of the more simple process of entering the UK, students are highly attractive source of skilled migration without an excess of limitations.

Other causes of difference between China and European country involve issue of visa policy. Overview the Non-European country, the major cause of increase students migration is that student visas are not permanent, and they do not need provide a direct legal route to settlement. On the basic data of entering in the UK, 79% not stayed as British residents and another 6% remained as students who not tend to lead settlement (Achato et al.2010). There extension of visa statement can state that application of Tire 4 Student visas are rising up during the period of year from 2001 to 2010 (see figure 3). China is the largest group of students migration to the UK in Non-European country, so there is no doubt that the visa extension in Non-European country also reflects the same situation in China.

Moreover, implementing entry procedures in flexible, provide available service lets students gain work experiences in the UK. This also a effective strategy to keep international intellectual stay in the UK (Wei Shen, 2005). In comparison, students who from European country have fewer limitation about visa. For example, the UK council for International Student Affairs clams that if a student from European Economic Area (EEA), the student could be entitled to the UK freely for up to three months without any demonstration about the right of free movement and do not have to register or apply for any documents in order to stay in the UK.(UKCISA)

figure 3 Extension of visas, non-EEA students,2001-10 (Source :Home Office, Control of Immigration: Statistics UK, 2009)

To summarize, according to the analysis of these two examples, it is not difficult to state all these students migration have similar effects but different causes of migration pattern. Although excessive student migration can cause some social issues, the similar effect of the increasing number of students immigration to the UK still exist in China and European country as the major impact of students migration. However, the different causes of this migration trend contribute as much as their similar effect.

In China, students migration to other nation is to fulfill the developing country’s demand of skilled people to facilitate economy. I believe this cause could attract more students study abroad and so that streamling service of visas application to provide more convenience to students migration. While in European country, there are fewer restriction of visa policy and right entering to the UK than China. This can make the policy about students migration in European country change more to promote the development of it. Therefore, I argue that different causes about students migration in China and European country still cause similar result, and it will be profound to migration pattern in the future.

List of References
Achato, et al. (2010) The Migration Journey. Home Office Research Report 43.London: Home Office

BBC News.(2012,September 13).Overseas students: Change to UK migration figures planned. Available at:

Blinder,S.(2011,December). Non-European Student Migration to the UK, The migration observatory, 1st Revision (Next update:12/12/2012). Available at:

Findlay,A.M.and Stam,A.(2006, March 16).International student migration to the UK:Training for the global economy or simply another form of Global talent recruitment? Institute for the Study of International Migration. Available at:

Gillingham,E. (2010, November). Understanding A8 migration to the UK since Accession, Office for National Statistics. Available at:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (2005). Students in Higher Education Institutions 2003/4.(also 1994/5-present)

The Higher Education Academy (2007). The internalization of UK Higher Education: a review of selected material. Available at:

UK council for International Student Affairs(no date). EEA and Swiss students. Available at:

Wei Shen (2005). A study on Chinese student migration, Asia Europe Journal, 3(3). Available at:

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