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Global Competition for UK University Students

The recent publication of the world university rankings has shone the spotlight on higher education around the globe...

The recent publication of the world university rankings has shone the spotlight on higher education around the globe.

As well as identifying the world's top institutions, the annual league table published by Times Higher Education also highlights the growth in global competition for the student market.

According to Times Higher Education, there were about 2.5 million students studying outside their home nations when the rankings were first published 10 years ago. A decade on and that figure has risen to four million.

As more and more in the UK look overseas for study options, closer attention will inevitably be paid to how universities at home and away compare.

Since October 2011, The Student World Fair has brought more than 6,000 students, parents and careers advisors together with over 200 universities from 30 countries.

As the only event of its kind in the UK dedicated to studying abroad, it has established itself as the one-stop shop for information about going overseas for a degree.

Around 40 per cent of students surveyed at the six Student World Fair events that have been held in London, Manchester and Leeds over the last two years, said that they intended to apply to universities overseas.

This not only demonstrates a very real interest in studying abroad but also the need to bridge the gap in information that exists about the vast spectrum of opportunities. And the increasing number and range of universities wanting to be part of the event year-on-year shows that UK students are highly sought after.

More than 50 universities from around the globe will be back in Manchester and London this weekend (October 12 and 13) to talk to students face-to-face.

As well as representatives from world-ranked institutions from across Europe, America, Canada and Hong Kong and Australia, there will also be those from perhaps less obvious study destinations. They include a group of universities from Lithuania, representatives from Bulgaria and Czech Republic offering medical degrees taught in English, and a university from the West Indies.

International admissions officers will be on hand to offer expert advice as well as students who have already taken the step and are enrolled at the universities abroad. Their first-hand experience will undoubtedly give an invaluable insight into what it means to be an international student.

As with every decision, there are pros and cons and for some, going abroad to continue their education will not be the right path to follow. But in an increasingly global marketplace, for many it is becoming an option that cannot be ignored, and one, indeed, that may prove attractive to potential employers.

See articles on these topics on Information on The Student World Events in Manchester and London this weekend can be found on