Foreign students say 'oui' to EU branch of UK universities

Prospective students are keen to study at branch campuses of UK universities located in the European Union, with Paris emerging as the top favourite spot, the Times Higher Education (THE) reports.

According to a new survey by student recruitment and retention solutions company Hobsons, most prospective recruits both based in and out of the EU, would be “very likely or somewhat likely” to pick an EU outpost of a UK university. Seventy-nine percent of EU respondents want to study at a continental campus in a country other than their own, while 69 percent of non-EU future recruits said they would study in an EU branch campus.

However, only slightly more than half (58 percent) of EU respondents said they wanted to attend a branch campus in their home country.

Paris came out on top with 41 percent of all respondents preferring the French capital as their host city for a UK university’s EU campus. Berlin followed next with 32 percent, then Amsterdam (31 percent) and Barcelona (18 percent).

Respondents were equally divided as to how an EU branch campus would affect their opinion of the UK host university, at 42 percent each.

814 non-EU students and 135 EU students took part in the survey on branch campuses in the EU, which were revealed at Universities UK’s International Higher Education Forum yesterday.

The findings come in the wake of UK universities taking measures to cope with the country’s impending exit from the European Union, which analysts said would have likely negative impacts on research funding and stemming the number of foreign students choosing to study in the UK.

One of the ways UK universities have mulled to offset these drawbacks is the opening of branches in the continent, such as the University of Warwick. Others such as the Oxford University and Cambridge University have denied plans to do so.

Hobsons managing director Jeremy Cooper said: “British universities are great brands, and there is huge potential to evaluate and further develop the market for transnational education.”

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