Stricter visa rules are behind a 44% spike in the number of education businesses going bust over the last year, Wilkins Kennedy has said.
Research from the accountancy firm found that 269 educational institutions became insolvent in 2011. That’s up from 117 in 2010.
At one institution, the number of foreign students of a college had slumped by 75%, the firm said, from 1,200 in 2010 to just 300 at the end of 2011.
Keith Stevens, a partner at Wilkins Kennedy, said further pain is still to come.
Last year the government implemented a number of reforms meant to reduce the number of overseas students studying in the UK.
These include restrictions on foreign student work rights, and requiring institutions to demonstrate that their courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous course the student has studied in the UK.
The rules have been tightened further from this month. Overseas students will only be able to remain post-graduation if they earn at least £20,000 a year and work for Home Office-approved companies.
In addition, colleges are now required to become "highly trusted sponsors", and will need full accreditation as such by the end of this year. 450 colleges failed to meet these criteria in November 2011.
Wilkins Kennedy also notes that countries such as USA, Germany and Australia have become more lenient with their immigration policies, potentially attracting foreign students away from the UK.