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Overseas Students

Volume 82: debated on Monday 8 July 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the optimum number and percentage of overseas students that the Government would expect to see in British institutions of higher and further education in each of the next 10 years.

The proportion of overseas students varies widely from institution to institution. My right hon. Friend would not wish to suggest an optimum proportion for any institution or for higher and further education as a whole.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the figure of 11 per cent., and rising in relation to the proportion of overseas students, given in his statement on the Green Paper, referred to university students only; and if he will give comparable percentage figures for non-university higher education and non-advanced further education.

In response to an intervention from my hon. Friend on 21 May 1985 at column 865, my right hon. Friend said that the proportion of overseas students here was now 11 per cent. However, that figure related to the proportion of overseas students in the universities alone: in 1983–84, the number of students from abroad (including those from other European Community countries), as a proportion of all full-time and sandwich students in universities in Great Britain had increased from 10·5 per cent. for the previous academic year to 11·1 per cent. in 1983–84. The corresponding figure for public sector higher education was 5 per cent. and that for higher education in Great Britain overall was 8·2 per cent. The figure for non-advanced further education was 2 per cent.