Foreign Students Said to Get a Leg Up in Admission to British Universities

Chinese students with mediocre grades are being offered admission to leading British universities, apparently bypassing stringent qualifications for British students, reports the Daily Telegraph.

In addition, recruitment agents for universities are coaching foreign students to provide misleading statements to government authorities about whether they plan to remain in Britain after their studies. The newspaper conducted an undercover investigation, sending reporters to a company in Beijing that acts as the official agent in China for more than 20 British universities.

Income from foreign students has become an important source of revenue for many institutions. While tuition for U.K. and European students is capped at British  universities, students from other parts of the world can be charged market rates.

The chief executive of Universities UK, which represents the vice chancellors of all British universities, issued a statement in response to the article, saying that international students do not displace home students, whose numbers are capped by the government. The statement added that although universities may set entry requirements, they “may deviate from these in certain circumstances.”

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