CAS and deposits rally but remain significantly down year-on-year as Pakistan leapfrogs Nigeria

CAS and deposits rally but remain significantly down year-on-year as Pakistan leapfrogs Nigeria

The latest real-time data from the Enroly platform shows that CAS issuance is down by 36% when compared to the same point in the January 2023 intake. Deposits are down by 37%.

The data is taken from over 68,000 international students from a representative subset of universities on the platform, which allows Enroly Data Insights to accurately compare the performance between intakes.

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As institutions up and down the country hit CAS deadlines over the coming days, these latest numbers indicate a recovery for the intake when compared to the early indications of greater falls reported by Enroly in November at that point in the cycle.

At that time, the number of CAS issued and deposits taken were down by 52% and 64% respectively, suggesting that universities were significantly behind the curve as demand in the UK market cooled. This week’s figures show that institutions have regained some of that lost ground, although the magnitude of the falls in numbers predicted by this data may continue to worry some observers.

India, Nigeria & Pakistan

CAS issuance for India, the UK’s largest market, more or less matches the overall trend, and is down by 34% year-on-year, with deposits down 38%. 

Although still predicting a stark reduction in Indian student numbers year-on-year, the data nevertheless indicates a welcome recovery from November, when deposits CAS issued were down by 52% and 66%.

Year-on-year CAS-issued data for January 2024 versus January 2023 for India, Pakistan and Nigeria.

The star performer at a market level is undoubtedly Pakistan, with CAS Issued up by 14% year-on-year and deposits increasing by 22%. Indeed, the Pakistan numbers are so strong that it has surpassed the languishing Nigerian market. 

Year-on-year deposit data for January 2024

Nigerian students, who partly accounted for such impressive growth in January 2023, are 71% down in terms of CAS issued and 72% down for deposits year-on-year for the January intake, a similar picture to the early indications in November, and perhaps are a continued reflection of challenging economic conditions in the country.  

Nigerian students cite unfriendly policies in Enroly survey

Alongside the economic picture, a recent Enroly survey of 250 Nigerian international students from 2022 and 2023 cohorts, found that unfriendly Government policies may also be coming home to roost.

The survey found that 81% of those questioned said that the UK felt less welcoming to international students than when they applied to university, with Government policies such as restrictions on dependants and increases in visa and IHS fees all factors cited by students.

Of those students who brought dependants to the UK during their studies, 82% said they would have been put off applying to the UK had the restrictions been in force at the time of their application. 

The importance of the Graduate Route was also highlighted, with just 35% of respondents indicating they would still have chosen the UK had they not had the right to work for a period following their studies.

Enroly comment on the data

Jeff Williams, Enroly CEO and Co-founder, says, ‘This latest Enroly platform data makes it clear that the numbers this January continue to indicate a challenging period for the sector. 

‘But there are some reasons for optimism, with Pakistan showing growth opportunities are out there for recruitment teams, and with overall numbers on the up, demonstrating that universities are catching up after the slow start evidenced in the November figures.

‘From working with them every day, we know how hard our colleagues at partner institutions have been working to maximise processing and conversion over the festive period. I look forward to sharing the results of our full January intake report in February, and hope that it will show that numbers continued to trend upwards towards January 2023 levels.’ 

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