The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has published a report revealing that the number of university students in Scotland and the UK is on the rise.
The HESA’s figures show that there were 235,565 enrolments at higher education institutions in Scotland in 2015/16.
A total of 184,630 of these students came from the UK, while the number of EU students totalled 20,945.
According to the report, this displays a one per cent increase in both the numbers of UK and EU students at Scottish institutions in 2015/16.
There was also a three per cent growth in the number of international students from non-EU countries.
The largest number of international undergraduates came from Germany, China, and America, with student numbers rising by seven per cent, two per cent, and eight per cent, respectively, in 2015/16.
Joanna Storrar, Executive Director of the North American Office for the University of Edinburgh, told The Student: “The University of Edinburgh attracts the most students from North America of any UK university.
“We are renowned for the calibre of our research, staff, students, and for the quality of life in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.”
Tessa Birley, International Recruitment Officer for the University of Edinburgh, told The Student: “International Students studying at Edinburgh is not a new phenomenon. The University has been welcoming overseas students since its very foundation in 1583.
“Today, we welcome over 14,000 students from over 140 different nations to the University.”
However, HESA statistics also showed Indian student enrolment plummeted by 44 per cent between 2011/12 and 2015/16, from 29,900 to 16,745 students.
The number of Nigerian students has also fallen significantly.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, called the statistics “worrying”.
Speaking to the BBC she said: “If the UK wants to remain a top destination for international students and academics, it needs a new approach to immigration that is proportionate and welcoming for talented people across the world.
“This will be even more important as the UK looks to enhance its place in the world post-Brexit.”
Alastair Sim, the Director of Universities Scotland echoed these views.
He told the BBC: “These are welcome figures for Scottish universities from HESA given the context our universities are currently recruiting in.
“The fact that Scottish universities continued to attract international students at a time where the number of university-sponsored study visa applications fell is a testament to the hard-earned world-class reputation of Scotland’s universities.”