Foreign students add £20bn to UK economy
International students’ spending supports local UK economies with an average of £102,000 per student, new research has found.
The Higher Education Policy Institute carried out a study into the 231,065 international students that began their studies in the UK in 2015/16.
A total benefit to the UK amounted to an average EU student contributing approximately £87,000 to the UK, with an average total benefit from a non-EU student of £102,000.
This means that for every 15 EU students and 11 non-EU students £1m worth of net economic impact is generated for the UK economy, the report said.
The UK greatly benefits from the overseas students since the costs created by them are minimal compared to the money they are spending in the country.
An average EU-domiciled student requires £19,000 from the government and the non-EU average student needs approximately £7,000. In total, the 231,065 students cost the UK £2.3bn.
The main country of origin of foreign students is China, with 62,105 first-year students entering higher education in the UK in 2015/16. The next two countries with more students arriving to the UK are the United States (10.545) and India (9.095).
The institute argued that the UK should have a different more positive approach to students from overseas and have special immigration policies applied to them.
“International students bring economic benefits to the UK that are worth ten times the costs of hosting them," Nick Hillman, director of HEPI said.
“Trying to persuade the Home Office that international students nearly always benefit the UK can feel like banging one’s head against a brick wall.
“We now implore ministers and civil servants as well as the Migration Advisory Committee to take this new evidence with the seriousness that it merits.”