The impending STEM crisis

My Observer comment piece about what’s happening to postgraduate student numbers in UK universities.

Here’s an interesting fact: for the last five years in UK universities, foreign postgraduate students have outnumbered British ones. International student numbers have grown by 90% in the past decade while the number of homegrown students has fallen by 12% in the past three years. And this despite the best efforts of the government and the Border Agency to dissuade students from coming to the UK.

The disproportionate growth in foreign postgraduates is good news for UK universities (because overseas students pay hefty fees), but bad for the society that supports those institutions. And it looks as though the situation will get worse.

Read on