Universities struggle with funding cuts, fewer foreign students

The Tory government has introduced several measures to reduce regular migration

Universities struggle with funding cuts, fewer foreign students

Representational image: iStock

By:
Pramod Thomas

SEVERAL top British universities may become less attractive due to reduced funding and stricter regulations on overseas students, according to the annual QS 2025 university rankings.

Despite these challenges, four British universities maintained their positions in the top 10 of over 1,000 institutions ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a key benchmark alongside the Times and Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings released on Tuesday (4).

Imperial College London, renowned for its science teaching, shot up from sixth to second place, dethroning for the first time the historically dominant “Oxbridge” duo, with Oxford and Cambridge ranking third and fifth respectively.

More than half (52) of the UK’s universities were bumped down on the list, out of the 90 that were part of the ranking.

“This year’s results suggest that British higher education has limited capacity remaining to continue excelling in the face of funding shortages, drops in student applications,” and restrictions affecting the intake of international students, said head of QS Jessica Turner.

In the last few months, the Tory government has introduced several measures to reduce regular migration which it judges to be too high.

These including barring overseas students from bringing dependents and hiking the minimum salary needed for skilled workers visas.

The policies have been criticised by universities, whose budgets are heavily dependent on the higher fees paid by international students.

In the first four months of the year, 30,000 fewer student visa applications were made than in the same period in 2023, according to government statistics.

(AFP)