For the period 2001/2 non-EU student numbers increased by almost 11% whilst EU student numbers fell by 5%. This time period also coincides with the attacks on theTwinTowersin theUnited States, and it is possible that this may have had an effect on the movement of students. More importantly, this could also signify the first visible of effects of globalisation on the higher education sector, as EU students may have shunned the UK due to its strong ties with the US – it could be that many feared a similar attack on the UK.
However, the increase in non-EU students is probably linked to other factors such as political and social turmoil in their home countries and/or other global developments during that time period. Nevertheless, this time period did signal a change in the numbers of international students as the rate of non-EU students increased more, whilst EU students had lower increases in figures. These figures are also important because they provide a quick snapshot of the originating areas of international students, which will affect the degree programmes offered, and the facilities and amenities higher education institutions will have to focus on. This includes providing affordable accommodation for non-EU students in particular, as well as opportunities to improve on English language skills and acclimatisation.