Birmingham has four universities, according to the city council. The most popular is the University of Birmingham, which dates back to 1900. It attracts 4,000 international students from 150 countries to lectures spread across two sites: Edgbaston and Selly Oak. English language support is on offer on the pre-entry foundation courses provided here.

Birmingham City University is the old city polytechnic formed out of a Mechanics' Institute in 1843. Since then it has annexed many other city colleges, including Birmingham School of Jewellery. More than 25,000 students are part of this university, which puts financial support for international students high on its list, after more than a quarter revealed this was their biggest concern about studying in the UK.

Almost 2,000 international students choose to study at Aston University, which dates back to 1895 and has strong links with the professional community in Birmingham. It promises to give third-year students a taste of working in industry and support students who need further help developing their English language skills.

Newman University College is a small Catholic educational centre eight miles outside the city centre, overlooking Bartley Reservoir. It is Birmingham's newest university founded in 1968, and claims its small class sizes create a friendly learning environment which attracts an average of 40 international students. Newman runs Erasmus student exchange schemes.