Could the Trade War between USA and China affect Hong Kong students applying for UK visas? Maybe.. It is all connected.
As the US threatens tariffs on Chinese goods, the Chinese government, as a retaliatory measure, could impose restrictions or recommend less travel to the US. The effect this would have on US tourism is obvious; however it would also have an external effect on Hong Kong students applying to UK universities. There are currently 350,000 Chinese tertiary students studying in the US. If there are less US options for Chinese tertiary students, a potential increase in Mainland Chinese applicants may flood UK universities. The UK has long been a favorite destination for Hong Kong students, evidenced by the fact that Hong Kong has roughly 30,000 students attending university in the UK. Currently, a Hong Kong student pays up to roughly 300,000HKD a year to study in UK. As the China-US trade war continues, expect a rise in competition for UK university applicants and fees.