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New study highlights net impact of international students

​Universities UK responded today [Thursday 11 January] to the HEPI / Kaplan International Pathways study into the costs and benefits of hosting international students in the UK.

The new analysis – carried out by London Economics – shows the benefits of international students are ten times greater than the costs and are worth £310 per UK resident.

Responding to the new study, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: "This report confirms the vital net contribution international students make to the UK. This is both in terms of their contribution to the economy, and their positive cultural and academic impact on campuses. It is clear that this positive impact extends to university towns and cities in all corners of the UK. It is estimated that international students support over 200,000 jobs in communities across the UK.

"Looking ahead, we need to see a new post-Brexit immigration policy that encourages all suitably qualified international students to choose to study in the UK. The UK excels in this area and has the potential to build on its status as one of the most popular destinations in the world for international students. This includes enhancing the post-study work opportunities for qualified international graduates, as many of our international competitors have been doing to improve their student visa offer. This should be coupled with an expanded international communications campaign, backed by government, to highlight that international students are welcomed and valued visitors to the UK."





  1. The new study – The costs and benefits of international students by parliamentary constituency – will be published on Thursday 11 January 2018. For further information, please contact Nick Hillman, HEPI, 07730 718247, n.hillman@hepi.ac.uk

  2. Two official reports (Home Office and ONS) published last summer revealed that there is very high visa compliance by international students. The reports revealed that the number of students overstaying their visas is a tiny fraction of previous, incorrect claims. See our media statement from August 2017.​

  3. Universities UK's latest analysis of the economic impact of universities – produced by Oxford Economics – revealed that international students (on and off-campus spending and that of their visitors) generated a total of £25.8bn in gross output, and supported ​

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Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

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Clara Plackett

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Universities UK


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