More freshers come to study from China than the whole of the EU

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It’s the biggest step forward in Sino-British relations since the 1842 Treaty of Nanking — Chinese freshers make up the highest group of international students in the UK, above all EU countries put together. 

Last year, 58,810 first years from China started courses in the UK, a rise of four per cent on the year before.

The figure compares to 57,190 coming from EU countries to study here, bringing the total international students up to 310,195: a three per cent jump from the previous year.

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Data maestros at the Higher Education Statistics Agency published the soaring figures of Chinese students enrolled at UK unis, which have shot up by 60 per cent since 2009 when there were just 36,950.

China, India, Nigeria, America, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Pakistan and Canada send the most students to the UK from outside the EU.

And Germany, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland are the top ten countries for enrolling freshers here from inside the EU.

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Theresa May came under fire for wanting to boot out international students after graduating

But uni experts are fretting over a drop in the number of Indians and Pakistanis, which fell by 12 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

Gordon Slaven, the British Council’s boss of higher education said: “It is very pleasing that the overall figures for overall figures for non-EU students coming to the UK has increased by three per cent.

“But this headline figure does disguise one worrying trend: the decrease of students coming from India by 12 per cent and Pakistan seven per cent, while demographic trends suggest that these should be sources of growth for the UK.”

This comes after Home Secretary and Tory succubus Theresa May was criticised for wanting to expel all foreign students immediately after graduation.

Her scheme was panned by her own party chiefs and inventor Sir James Dyson, who said it was “a bit shortsighted”.

He said: “It’s a short-term vote winner that leads to long-term economic decline.”