As the number of Indian students coming to study at UK universities continues to register a drop, a new report reveals just what Britain stands to lose. International students coming to study at UK universities are worth over 25 billion pounds to the British economy, found new research released today. The latest analysis titled 'The Economic Impact of International Students', conducted for representative organisation Universities UK by Oxford Economics, shows that in 2014-15 spending by international students supported 206,600 jobs in university towns and cities across the UK. “International students paid an estimated £4.8 billion in tuition fees to UK universities. This accounts for over 14 per cent of total university income. Some 88 per cent - £4.2 billion - of this fee income was paid by students from outside the EU. As well as university fees and accommodation, international students spent £5.4 billion off-campus on goods and services,” the research found.
“Visitors to international students in the UK spent an estimated 520 million pounds - benefitting in particular the transport, hotels, hospitality, cultural, recreational and sports attraction sectors - generating an estimated knock-on impact of 1 billion pounds in gross output. Taking their university payments, off-campus spending, and the spending of their visitors together, international students generated £25.8 billion in gross output,” it adds. The data will add pressure on the UK Home Office to ease restrictions on international students in the face of significantly declining student numbers from India, a concern repeatedly highlighted by the Indian government. “They [the UK] have to realise that when international students come here [Britain] they subsidise the educational costs here. We already have a reality where the quantum of students coming into the UK is declining and other jurisdictions are available. The UK also is a part of the competitive market in that area,” Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley had said during his recent visit to London.
The spending of international students and their visitors 2014-2015 now provides a major export boost for the UK economy. - Dame Julia Goodfellow, President, Universities UK