Students from the European Union appear to have been put off from studying in the UK following last year's Brexit vote.
The number of applications to UK universities from students in the European Union has shrunk by 7% in the wake of the Brexit vote, according to figures from UCAS.EU applications are down to 42,070 from 45,220 the year before.
The number of applicants from other overseas countries held steady at 52,630, around 70 more than 2016.
Applications to UK universities overall fell by 5% to a total of 469,490. There was a slump in English students applying for university, with 6% fewer applications in 2016. University applications fell by 5% in Northern Ireland, 2% in Scotland, and 7% in Wales.
Worryingly, the figures also reveal a huge slump in the number of students training to be nurses. The number of English applicants for nursing courses fell by 23% to 33,810 in 2017. It comes amid a chronic shortage of nurses in the UK. The Royal College of Nursing estimated last year there is a shortage of at least 20,000 and reports have warned that the shortfall is set to worsen in the coming year.
Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS chief executive, highlighted some bright spots in the data, saying: "Despite the overall decrease, it is encouraging that the number of 18-year-old applicants remains high, and that application rates for disadvantaged groups continue to rise."
She added: "However, we are seeing large falls for older applicants, partly because of strong young recruitment in recent years depleting the pool of potential mature applicants, and probably also reflecting increased employment, the higher minimum wage, and more apprenticeship opportunities."
In December, the Guardian reported that the government is considering cutting annual student visa numbers from 300,000 to 170,000 as part of a post-Brexit drive to lower immigration figures.
Up to 31,000 EU students could be deterred from coming to the UK if the Home Office makes European students pay the same university rates as non-EU nationals after Brexit, which would represent a 57% decline, according to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).
The post-Brexit drop in the number of EU students coming to the UK to study could cost the economy £2 billion ($2.45 billion) a year.
Here's the data:
This article originally appeared on Business Insider