UK issued record number of international student visas in 2021

UK granted 428,428 sponsored study visas to international students (both main applicants and their dependants) in the year ending September 2021. This is a record for highest annual number of Sponsored study visas granted in a year (39% higher than the previous record of 307,394 student visas granted in the year ending June 2010

In 2021, UK issued 252,327 more student visa than 2020 (an increase of 143%) and 152,077 more student visa than 2019 (an increase of 55%) for all countries that sent international students to the UK.

Of the 428,428 study visa issued in 2021, only 9% (20,775 in total) visa was issued to EU nationals while 91% visa was issued to non-EU international students. There had been significant growth from key markets in Asia and Africa.

The vast majority of visas (91%) were for study at Higher Education Institutions (HEI) i.e. Universities.

In 2021 students from Bangladesh saw the highest increase (410%) in percentage of study visa for UK. A total of 10,090 visas were issued to Bangladeshi students in 2021 while it was only 1,981 in 2019.

The 2nd highest increase (347%) in UK study visa percentage was for students from Nigeria. A total of 36,783 study visas were issued to Nigerian students in 2021 while it was only 8,229 in 2020.

The increase of visa percentage of Pakistani students for UK higher study was the 3rd highest (270%) among all countries.

The increase of visa percentage for Chinese students was 157%, the 4th highest though they ranked number 1 in terms of total number of students.

The increase of study visa percentage for Indian students in 2021 was 102%, the 5th highest while in terms of total number of students India was the 2nd largest country to send students for higher studies in the UK.

USA saw an increase of 77% (the 6th highest) study visa for UK in 2021.

There was an increase of 135% UK study visa for international students from other countries.

Most of the student visas were granted for international students from China, India, Nigeria, USA, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Chinese and Indian nationals together comprise more than half (53%) of all Sponsored study grants.

Source:Home Office

The overall UK sponsored study visa grant and refusal rate for the year ending 2021 was 96.5% and 3.27% respectively for all nationals.

The UK sponsored student visa success rate and refusal ratio in 2020 was 97.43% and 2.34%, respectively for all nationals that sent students to the UK.

Source:UK Visa Blog

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