The British economy generates more than 25 billion pounds from international students studying in the UK, a study found. The money spent by international students in 2014-15 supported 2,06,600 jobs in towns and cities across the UK.
The analysis was conducted by Oxford Economics for Universities UK, a representative organisation, and shows that international students have contributed about 4.8 billion pounds in tuition fees to universities in the UK, which amounts to 14 per cent of total university income. This is also a stimulant in the boosting of jobs and local businesses.
International students have also spent 5.4 billion pounds on off-campus goods and services, the research noted. Additionally, those visiting international students spent an estimate of 520 million pounds on transport, hotels, hospitality, cultural, recreational and sports attraction sectors. This had a major impact on the economy which then generated one 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 pounds in gross output,” the study found.
The findings put the UK Home office under pressure to ease the restrictions on international students especially due to the declining numbers of students from India. The UK had recently removed the restrictions on Indian students who wished to work in the country after completing their education after it realised that there was a significant drop in the number of Indian students coming to the UK.
“They [the UK] have to realise that when international students come here [Britain] they subsidise the educational costs here. The UK also is a part of the competitive market in that area,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in a recent visit to the UK.
A briefing by Univerisities UK on Monday noted that recognising the importance of international students is vital for the British economy. This especially becomes necessary with the nation being the second most popular destination after the United States for international students.
There is added pressure on the British Universities with Brexit and the fact that funding from the European Union may dwindle once that becomes official. Oxford University had recently denied an invitation from Universite of Paris Seine, a network of ten French Universities, to open a branch in Paris to continue receiving EU funds. This offer recieved a warmer welcome from other institutions in the UK like the Warwick University.