A landmark report released by multiple stakeholders in the UK has disclosed that the country’s economy received a boost of £41.9 billion in the academic year of 2021/22 due to the contribution of international students.
A New Report Highlights the UK Economy’s £41.9bn Boost from international students in the 2021/22 Academic Year A comprehensive study conducted by Universities UK International, HEPI, and Kaplan International Pathways has revealed the remarkable benefits and costs associated with international higher education students in the UK.
The report demonstrates that in the 2021/22 academic year, these students contributed a staggering £41.9 billion to the country’s economy, marking a significant increase from the £31.3 billion recorded in 2018/19.
Surprisingly, the study also indicates that the corresponding cost to taxpayers for supporting these students amounted to just £4.4 billion. Moreover, each student’s net economic impact is estimated to be approximately £98,000, emphasizing the substantial value they bring to the UK’s economy. Speculation grows over possible limits on dependents of international students in the UK, ahead of the release of migration figures.
As anticipation builds for the release of migration figures in late May, discussions within the UK government regarding potential limitations on dependents have sparked increased speculation. In light of these developments, Jamie Arrowsmith, the Chief Executive of UUKi (Universities UK International), highlighted the significant cultural, social, and economic contributions made by international students. He expressed pride in the fact that UK universities continue to attract students from all corners of the globe.
Arrowsmith emphasised the importance of maintaining an open and welcoming environment for international students, underscoring the need to recognise and value their invaluable contributions to the country. A recently published report reveals an impressive benefit-to-cost ratio of 9.4, underscoring the substantial advantages of international students in the UK. The research, conducted by London Economics, demonstrates that these students contribute nearly ten times more to the economy than they extract, thereby significantly enhancing both local and national economic well-being.
Gavan Conlon, a partner at London Economics, emphasised the magnitude of this impact. Additionally, the study indicates that the cost of hosting international students has risen by over £1 billion since the 2018–19 period, further illustrating the growing investment in their presence.
The increase in public service costs for international students and dependents reflects higher prices and non-EU cohort growth, states report.
According to the report, the rise in public service expenditures for both international students and their dependents is primarily attributed to escalating general prices and the expansion of the non-EU student population. While EU students continue to choose the UK for their studies, it is non-EU students who contribute the vast majority of the net economic impact, generating a remarkable £33.5 billion.
Brexit has had a “dramatic” effect on the sector, as highlighted in the report. EU students, previously constituting one out of every four international students in the UK, now represent only one out of every twelve. The report further reveals that each non-EU student contributes a net impact of £96,000, emphasising their significant economic value to the country.
Data indicates that every 11 non-EU students generate a £1 million net impact on the UK economy. Based on the data, it is revealed that for every 11 non-EU students studying in the UK, a net impact of £1 million is generated throughout their study period. This significant economic contribution highlights the substantial value that non-EU students bring to the UK economy.
EU students also contribute £1 million net impact, with every 9 students achieving the milestone. Similar to this, EU students have a significant net impact, with each student contributing about £125,000. This implies that for every nine EU students pursuing their studies in the UK, they collectively generate a noteworthy £1 million net impact during their educational journey.
Report Reveals £58m benefit per Parliamentary Constituency, equating to £560 per UK Citizen. The report highlights a significant benefit of £58 million per parliamentary constituency, equivalent to approximately £560 per citizen of the UK.
When examined on a constituency level, Glasgow Central stands out, with its international students providing the highest net impact per resident, amounting to £292 million. London’s Holborn and St Pancras constituencies closely follow at £291 million.
International students play a crucial role in Scottish society and the economy, according to Andrea Nolan, convener of Universities Scotland’s International Committee and principal of Edinburgh Napier University. She further highlighted the noteworthy findings that demonstrate the widespread benefits generated by international students across the entirety of Scotland.
Additionally, Edinburgh East and Aberdeen North feature among the top ten constituencies in terms of net impact, with students contributing £268 million and £241 million, respectively. These statistics demonstrate the significant economic contribution that international students make to these areas.
Nottingham South, Sheffield Central, and Newcastle Upon Tyne East also rank among the top ten constituencies in terms of net impact, with international students contributing £271 million, £273 million, and £264 million, respectively.
Additionally, the average net impact of international students in London as a whole was £131 million, highlighting the significant role that the city played in luring and hosting international students.
Report highlights the unprecedented contribution of international students to the UK economy, raising concerns about possible rule changes stakeholders argue that any changes to restrictions around dependents and post-study work would have a significant impact, as the research highlights the record-breaking contribution of international students to the UK economy.
Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, stressed the significance of making such adjustments based on evidence. He recommended that every candidate from every major political party in every district study the report in preparation for the 2018 election, saying that its goal is to bolster the existing body of data.
Director of Kaplan International Pathways Linda Cowan warned against taking the report’s findings at face value. She emphasised that the excellent results highlighted in the report require ongoing attention and support from stakeholders.
International students place a premium on career counselling and job placement services in light of possible changes to post-study work visas. In light of proposed amendments to the post-study work visa, Linda Cowan emphasised that overseas students have a crystal clear idea of what they value most.