UCAS figures reveal that following Brexit, the number of EU students planning to study at a UK university has fallen by around 7%.
Overall, 564,190 people have applied to start a course at a UK university in autumn 2017, down 5 percent (29,530 students) compared to the same time in 2016.
There has also been a 5 percent decrease in UK applicants, while the number of potential international students from countries outside the EU remains similar to last year.
A UCAS report highlighted EU applicant numbers would have been expected to go up by around 3,000 this year, based on previous trends. However, numbers had actually shown to have dropped by around 3,000.
The Brexit vote initially caused uncertainty over whether or not EU students applying to start courses at English institutions in September 2017 would be eligible for loans and grants in the future.
Ministers announced on October 11 – four days before the early application deadline – that these students will be able to access funding for the duration of their degree. This arrangement will be honoured even if the UK leaves the EU during this time.
Professor John Latham, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, which has over 2,000 EU students, said: “The figures bring the perception of how welcoming the UK is as a study destination into sharp focus, regardless of whether they prove Brexit is having a chilling effect on demand.
“The falls from UK and EU students suggest that universities may need to go more global, more quickly, but each is now going to have to look at its model, I am sure some will reduce in size and scale while others may increase their share.”