Scottish independence could hit overseas student numbers says survey

Scottish independence could hit overseas student numbers says survey

Poll finds 46% of non-EU students less like to choose university in independent Scotland because they want a British degree.

Scottish universities could lose more than two-fifths of their non-EU students if the country votes for independence, a survey suggests.

Of 200 overseas students surveyed, 46% of non-EU nationals said they would be less likely to choose a university in an independent Scotland because they wanted a British degree. More than a third feared the reputation of a Scottish degree would decline.

The survey was carried out by Chinese students at four Scottish universities: Glasgow, Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian.

The four institutions are at the forefront of a drive to increase income from overseas students, partly to offset tight restrictions on Scottish government funding after the introduction of free tuition for EU nationals.

The survey of students from 36 countries was overseen by Yajun Deng, editor of the online student magazine ChinaGirlsAbroad.

She said a loss of overseas income, estimated to be worth £778m a year, could cause significant problems for Scottish universities funding.

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