No need to apologise - simply my shite sense of humour.
Data from HECSU clearly indicates, that contrary to belief, many students that do study away from home return to their town or city of origin upon completion of their degrees. Also, the international cohort has become increasingly significant and obtaining Tier 2 sponsorship is extremely challenging - virtually impossible in the current climate, so the vast majority return to their countries of origin. The exception being EU students, but following Brexit they will be subject to the same rules. It looks as though both international and European graduates will as of the next academic year will have a 2 year extension to their study visas...which is at least an improvement upon the 4 months under the current policy. Many EU students aren't motivated to study here any longer, particularly as they can't remain. This combined with a temporary demographic dip in the age cohort, competition from degree apprenticeships and the current pandemic spells dire financial implications throughout the Higher Education Sector. Mass rationalisation across UK institutions is inevitable. Universities will need to effect redundancies, dip into surplus, curtail pensions and borrow in order to remain profitable or even in some cases, to survive. International applications have plummeted this year for obvious reasons and the Modern Universities in particular are looking very closely at outreach which again will render the notion of physical presence on the campus defunct. Lockdown prematurely prompted and invited new ways of teaching and assessment which were going to be ushered in anyway. It is a concern - many courses require attendance due to the practical content which cannot be taught online, whilst the peer aspect of university life, in terms of learning and social bonding is essential.
I understand that you are referring to 'first degree' students, but in terms of Post Graduate degrees, Masters level is mainly one year in duration, whilst PhD can be a very isolated and remote experience. Also,in both cases, the latter involves less emphasis upon social life. I am noticing a distinct spike in Masters applications due to the current stagnation of the graduate labour market, which of course is completely the wrong reason to undertake a post-graduate programme of study.