International Students Aspire to be Managers; Brits Prefer the Arts


King’s loves to tout its internationality in its promotional literature. Indeed, undergraduates in 2016-2017 were approximately one-third international.  

However, this one-third is not a constant across every course. A recent Freedom of Information request into King’s’ student composition shows clear distinction in the preferences of international students and domestic students.  


Of the programmes with over 20 students, Business Management is the most international course at King’s with a surprising 90% of students coming from abroad. This data, representing the 2018-2019 class, comes despite the fact that this was the first class to apply post-Brexit.  


“There do seem to be a lot of international students in the Business School,” commented Victoria Nunn, a second year Business Management student from Canada. “London is the capital of the finance industry in Europe, at least for the time being. I assume a lot of people come here to study as their ‘in.’” 


Management seems to be a popular subject in general for international students, with Maths with Management & Finance, Economics & Management, Computer Science with Management, International Management, and Electrical Engineering with Management all making the top 15 most international courses. Public Policy courses, such as PPE, International Relations, and Political Economy, also trend international.  


The most British courses, meanwhile, are heavy on the medical sciences: unsurprising considering the regulations that make it most practical to study medicine in one’s own country. Interestingly enough, the rest of the top 15 is made up of Arts & Humanities courses, including Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics; Ancient History; and Classical Studies (reinforcing stereotypical international perceptions of Brits as tweed-wearing dwellers of the past).



Overall, the data provide insight into what domestic and international students seek from King’s. UK students, if not certain of becoming a Dentist or Pharmacist, opt for a classic liberal arts education. For international students on the other hand, King’s is the stepping stone to a career in management or government.  

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