“Thanks for the enquiry, but (…) we’re not looking at overseas [applications]”

I did my first degree in continental Europe, and my PhD in the UK. When I was applying to PhD programmes in the UK I had a bafflingly candid response to an inquiry about a funded PhD position: Thanks for the enquiry, but we have been overwhelmed by UK applications, so we’re not looking at overseas ones. (Not the exact wording as this was many years ago, but that’s exactly what they said).

Many years later I went on to get a permanent academic job in the UK.