According to official higher education statistics, during the 2017-2018 academic year 285 Turkish students attended university in the UK, an increase of 73 percent over three years ago, says Studying-in-UK.org.
Despite international enrollment seems to be staggering in recent years, statistically the UK remains the second most popular study destination in the international higher education market. As of 2018, 458,490 students at UK universities were foreign citizens, a healthy increase over the previous year, when there were 442,375 international students.
Turkish students made a fair contribution to this number. Based on figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in the UK, 3,440 students from Turkey were enrolled at UK universities last year. Three years ago, the 183 institutes of higher education that provide enrollment data to HESA reported 3,165 Turkish students.
By country of higher education provider, England stands at the top of the list of popular study destinations for Turkish students. Last year English universities accommodated 3,060 students from Turkey. Scotland also had a relatively high number of Turkish students (285) followed by Wales (80) and Northern Ireland (15).
Between 2014/15 and 2017/18, Scottish universities experienced the largest enrollment growth of Turkish students. During the 2014/15 academic year, Turkish nationals in Scotland accounted for 165 students. Three years later in 2017/18, the number had increased by 73 percent to reach 285 students.
According to academic level, postgraduate courses were the most widely subscribed to. Of the total number of Turkish nationals enrolled at Scottish universities in 2017/18, 220 were working for a postgraduate degree as opposed to 65 enrolled in undergraduate studies.
Statistical data also reveal that during the same period Welsh universities experienced a loss of Turkish enrollment, from 195 students in 2014-2015 down to 80 in 2017-2018, a drop of 59 percent.
This flow of students from Turkey to UK universities will likely continue as other study destinations such the US are becoming less attractive, mostly due to political relations between the two countries. The same effect was also seen among qualified professionals in Turkey who in recent years have switched from the US as their most popular work destination to other countries.
According to a study by VisaGuide.World, applications for H1B visas, which allow qualified foreign professionals to enter the US for purposes of work, were cut in half in Turkey between 2009 and 2018.