Since 2016, more than 20,000 international students have sought opportunities provided by universities in the North East of England.
This data comes from records obtained via a freedom of information request to the Universities of Sunderland and Newcastle. Northumbria University declined to provide the requested information.
According to the Migration Data Portal, in 2017, there were more than 5.3 million international students worldwide, a figure that rose from 2 million in the year 2000. This suggests that more students are taking on the challenge of leaving behind family, community and everyday comforts in the pursuit of education.
For the North East, this rising trend also held, with a 4 per cent increase in international students between the academic years 2016/2017 – 2018/2019, with more than 80 nationalities represented across the two universities. The University of Newcastle carried the greatest number of these with 16,060 international students over the three years. Over the same period, 4,360 chose the University of Sunderland.
A spokesperson for the University of Sunderland said: “We welcome students from around 100 countries across the world every year. The fact that our international student population has held so steady in recent years reflects the value overseas students continue to place on the quality of our programmes and opportunities here at the University.”
The greatest migration of students has come from the Asian continent, with students across China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia making up 47 per cent of international students across the two universities. Students have travelled from as far as Australia and from the tropical climate of the Caribbean to attend university in the North East.
University of Newcastle student and member of the Afro-Caribbean society, Nia Marshall, said: “I wanted a degree that challenged me in an exciting city and Newcastle has given me both.” While admitting that the transition has not been the easiest at times, given the change in time zone and climate, the experience, she noted, has truly been an enjoyable one to date.