UK universities and colleges see record applications from key international markets, as UCAS launches dedicated new platform

Students from China and India have applied in record numbers through UCAS to start an undergraduate course in the UK this September. 
Posted Thu 17 February 2022 - 00:01

As of the recent January deadline, applications from China grew by 12% to 28,930 applicants. China remains the third biggest market for UK HE, with more applicants coming from China than Wales and Northern Ireland. Applications from India have grown by 11% year-on-year to 8,660 applicants and have almost doubled since 2019.  

The total number of international applicants so far in 2022 is 111,410, broadly similar to 2021 (111,630). The number of applicants from outside the EU continue to rise and are currently up 5% to 90,590.  There are just under 20,820 EU applicants, a fall of 19% on last year. However, Ireland doesn’t follow this trend as applicants are up 5%, to 5,100. 

UCAS is the single largest channel supporting international students entering UK study and with rising numbers of postgraduate students also coming to the country, today launches a new platform dedicated to them. 

Myriad by UCAS, available in-browser and as an app, is tailored to international postgraduate students coming to the UK, providing the support and guidance on courses, accommodation, scholarships and funding, and local jobs that many are saying they need.  

Over 90% of UK universities and colleges are listed on Myriad, and it is already being used by students in 150 countries.  

Clare Marchant, Chief Executive at UCAS, said: “As we recover from the Covid pandemic and see the increased opening up of international travel, this year was always going to be pivotal for the international student market.  

 “Whilst applications have been very resilient throughout the pandemic, the robust demand from China, India and Hong Kong, as well as demand from a number of new and emerging global regions, shows the enduring appeal of our world-class universities, with our recent report indicating that nearly 9 in 10 still view the UK as an attractive place to study. We are expecting, as part of the journey to a projected million applications by 2026, the number of international students to grow by two-thirds. 

“As part of our trusted and independent role, we are delighted to launch today our new platform dedicated to international postgraduate students, Myriad by UCAS. Myriad by UCAS will support the International Education Strategy’s ambitions by providing an excellent user experience for students coming to the UK as well as champion new and emerging markets for universities and colleges’ recruitment activities.”   

Additional key undergraduate statistics for 2022 from selected international countries: 

  • Nigeria (+47%, to 2,380 applicants) and Canada (+17%, to 2,450 applicants) have had the most significant proportional increases this year.  
  • Applications from Singapore (3,390) and Malaysia (3,140 applicants) are once again increasing after falls in recent years, +7% and +6% respectively in 2022, and returning to levels seen around five years ago.  
  • However, there was an atypical fall from applicants from the USA, down almost 1,400 to 5,280 (though still up on 2020). 
  • Hong Kong has declined by 390 applicants to 6,010, though it remains the third largest international market overall. 

View the 2022 cycle applicant figures – 26 January deadline


UCAS Press Office 

NOTE: new temporary number 07881 029 025  




Notes for editors

For most higher education courses, an application must have been submitted to UCAS by 18:00 on 26 January 2022, to guarantee it will receive equal consideration by universities and colleges for 2022 entry.

Applications for undergraduate courses can continue to be made until the end of June, provided universities and colleges have indicated there are places available. Additionally, applicants can apply direct to Clearing over the course of the summer.

From the 2022 cycle onwards, the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) subject classification and no longer be used, so subject data will be categorised by Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS). For this data release we will aggregate HECoS subject data using the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) version 1.3.4 (details here:

 As JACS subject group B7 had been used to identify nursing applications, applicants and acceptances, we are amending our method of reporting covering nursing and midwifery separately, based on courses having over 50% of their content allocated by providers as being:

  •  Nursing – in CAH2 (CAH02-04) nursing and midwifery, excluding CAH3 (CAH02-04-04) midwifery
  • Midwifery in CAH3  (CAH02-04-04) midwifery
About Myriad by UCAS

Myriad by UCAS connects the world to UK higher education by providing a single postgraduate gateway under the trusted UCAS brand. International students can search courses, research universities, make applications, get matched to scholarship and funding opportunities and find jobs and accommodation all within one app.

About UCAS

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education.

Our services support young people making post-18 choices, as well as mature learners, by providing information, advice, and guidance to inspire and facilitate educational progression to university, college or a degree apprenticeship.

We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.

We also provide a wide range of research, consultancy and advisory services to schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies and employers, including apprenticeships.

We’re a successful and fast-growing organisation, which helps hundreds of thousands of people every year. We're committed to delivering a first-class service to all of our customers — they're at the heart of everything we do.

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