Courtesy of Nottingham Trent University

International students studying in the UK contribute 10 times more than they cost the economy, with Nottingham South featuring in the top 10 benefiting constituencies.

A study by London Economics looked at the costs and benefits of hosting foreign students from 2015 to 2016. Findings identified that the yearly intake of international students brought with it just over £20bn of net economic benefit.

The net income is made up of tuition fees, accommodation payments and additional spending. It is estimated that each intake of students from overseas totalled to a cost of approximately £2.3bn.

The study also details the financial impact of international students by parliamentary constituency. Nottingham South places in the top three, behind Sheffield Central and Newcastle upon Tyne.

International students from Nottingham Trent University share their thoughts

On top of the benefits to the national and local economy, earlier studies by Universities UK have suggested that the contribution of students from abroad extends beyond monetary earnings. Results from a survey included in their March 2017 report`found that three-quarters of British students say studying alongside international students prepared them for working in a global environment.

“We very much value the contribution [international students] make.”

According to the London Economics researchers, the capital city benefited the most from hosting foreign students, with Northern Ireland benefiting the least.

A statement from the Home Office in relation to the findings said: “We very much value the contribution [international students] make.

“Since 2010 we have seen the number of student visas increase by 24 per cent.”

  • £22.6bn brought to UK by annual intake of international students
  • Cost of hosting each intake approx. £2.3bn
  • Just over £20bn net economic benefit to UK
  • Net economic benefits over course of international students’ studies totals to approx. £310 for every UK resident
  • Ratio of benefits to costs equals about 10 to 1
  • 2015-16 intake made up of 58,960 students from other EU countries and 172,105 from non-EU countries
  • Largest group of non-EU students came from China
  • Benefits of hosting each EU student totals £87,000 on average over the course of the individual’s studies, with costs averaging £19,000
  • Benefits of hosting each non-EU student totals £102,000 on average over the course of the individual’s studies, with costs averaging £7,000
  • London region recieves £4.6bn net income per intake

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), who commissioned the research, will submit the London Economics findings to the Migration Advisory Committee, with a recommendation to the government expected in the coming months, on whether students should be removed from net migration figures.

Home secretary Amber Rudd has been at the forefront of a cabinet push to exclude students from the figures, with Prime Minister Theresa May insisting they remain in the data.