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London, Feb 11: A new survey has revealed that the majority of international students studying in the UK feel unwelcome in the country with a significant number saying that they would not recommend their friends to come and study.

A study of the attitudes of 3,100 international students by the National Union of Students revealed that more than 50 percent believed the UK Government was either "not welcoming" or "not welcoming at all towards overseas students", the Independent reported.

Figures show PhD students are most likely to feel unwelcome (65.8 percent) with those from Japan (64.5 percent), Nigeria (62.8 percent) and India (62 percent) the next most likely to say they have received hostile treatment. Students from India, Pakistan and Nigeria are most likely to advise their friends not to study here.

Asked what most perturbed them, 40 percent cited moves to get landlords to check on their legal status - while 74 percent said introducing an NHS levy would make it either impossible or more difficult to study in the UK.

Student leaders argue the figures are "extremely worrying" as international students are estimated to contribute over 7.9 billion pounds a year to the UK economy.

Figures show a drop in recruits last year - from 239,000 to 197,000 - although the latest UCAS statistics indicate they are rising again this year. (ANI)

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