International Student Applications in the United Kingdom after Brexit

45 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2021

See all articles by Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

San Diego State University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Agnese Romiti

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Abstract

On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. We examine how this decision (henceforth, Brexit) has impacted international student applications in the United Kingdom. Using administrative data spanning from 2013 through 2019, along with a quasi-experimental approach, we find evidence of Brexit curtailing the growth rate of international student applications by 14 percent. The impact appears larger for applications to pursue STEM studies and for those received by more selective universities, suggestive of students with more alternatives choosing to study elsewhere. Furthermore, applications appear to have dropped the most among EU students originating from countries with weaker labor markets and economies for whom the ability to stay in the United Kingdom after their studies might have been a critical pull factor. Finally, the drop in applications has resulted into fewer international enrolments. Given the contributions of international student exchanges to research, development and growth, further research on the implications of Brexit for UK universities and the ability to attract valuable talent is well-warranted.

JEL Classification: F22, I20, O15, I28, J61

Suggested Citation

Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina and Romiti, Agnese, International Student Applications in the United Kingdom after Brexit. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14247, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3823614

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States
619-594-1663 (Phone)
619-594-5062 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Agnese Romiti

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

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