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United Kingdom: 15 universities announce staff layoffs, course closures due to reduced overseas enrollment

At least 15 universities in the United Kingdom have publicly announced staff layoffs and course closures, prompted by a significant decline in overseas postgraduate student enrollments this past January, according to University World News.

In the United Kingdom, at least 15 universities have publicly announced staff layoffs and course closures, which was prompted by a significant decline in overseas postgraduate student enrollments this past January.

This is directly related to the UK government’s stance on reducing international student numbers

Concerns are now mounting that undergraduate student recruitment may also decline in the upcoming academic year, exacerbated by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Naijaonpoint reports that the higher education landscape in the United Kingdom has seen many universities ranging from prestigious Russell Group universities to mid-tier universities and Scottish institutions, issuing alerts about potential course reductions and staff layoffs

Conversely, certain higher education institutions, particularly those established after the conversion of polytechnics to universities in 1992, appear to have experienced remarkable growth last year.

These universities, notably targeting countries outlined in the UK government’s International Education Strategy such as India and Nigeria, witnessed substantial increases in non-EU international student enrollments.

For instance, the University of Hertfordshire has reported a significant surge in international student numbers, making up over 45% of its total student intake. However, it is likely that in the coming years, it may join other universities in reporting financial difficulties due to the decline in international student numbers.

For instance, the University of Hertfordshire reported a significant surge in international student numbers, comprising over 45% of its total student intake, with notable spikes of 73% from India, 192% from Nigeria, and nearly 152% from Pakistan.

However, in the coming years, it may likely join other universities in reporting financial difficulties as a result of the decline in international student numbers.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) recently introduced a voluntary severance scheme in the face of staff redundancy due to its financial difficulties as a result of a notable decline in international student enrollments, a consequence of post-Brexit alterations in UK immigration policies.

RGU cited escalating cost pressures and a considerable reduction in public funding as contributing factors.

The RGU has experienced considerable expansion in recent years, due to international students from Nigeria and India. RGU adopted links with Nigeria and had an active Nigerian student population both on campus and in Alumni, with various scholarships and funding for Nigerian students.

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