​Universities attract talent from across the globe

Higher education is a British success story, attracting some of best talent from around the world.

Universities drive productivity and growth

There are currently 437,000 international students (non-EU) studying at our universities, and they collectively generate £10.8 billion in export earnings. £5.4 billion of this is spent off-campus in local shops, cafes and countless other businesses. Overall, international students support more than 206,000 jobs in towns and cities throughout the country.

Nearly 80% of international graduates plan to develop professional links with UK organisations. This impact will become even more important as the UK looks to enhance its diplomatic and trade links with the rest of the world following the vote to leave the European Union. 


International students have a positive impact on UK students too, with 76% reporting that they now have a better worldview from studying alongside their international counterparts.

And the British public as a whole recognises their importance: 81% agree that international students have a positive impact on local economies and towns in which they study.


The UK also recruits some of the top minds in their fields to teach in our universities and conduct world-leading research, with 28% of all academic staff coming from outside the UK. They are vital to a number of important disciplines, with 40% of all those involved in engineering and technology subjects alone coming from outside the UK.