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Patterns and trends in UK higher education 2012

Report cover

The report shows a period of continued growth for UK universities, with a steady rise in the number of students over the past decade.

It also highlights the significant increase in the number of international students studying at UK universities over this period, particularly at Masters-level.

Key points in UK higher education 2012 include:

  • The past decade has seen rapid growth in the sector, with total student numbers rising from just under 2 million in 2000–01 to around 2.5 million by 2010–11
  • Since 2001 the number of students gaining a first degree has risen by 17%, while the number achieving a postgraduate qualification has risen by 27%
  • The number of non-EU students coming to the UK to undertake taught postgraduate study has more than doubled since 2002–03
  • Higher education as an export industry contributed around £7.9 billion annually to the economy in 2009 and has the potential to contribute almost £17 billion by 2025
  • The percentage of the UK work force aged 30 to 34 with a higher education qualification has increased from 30% to 50% between 2001 and 2011
  • About 93% of higher education provision has been delivered in publicly funded institutions throughout the past five years


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