Friday, 12 January 2018

International students contribute £20bn to UK economy each year

Financial contributions of international students in the UK are reportedly 10 times higher than the costs of accommodating them, said a new research commissioned by the think-tank of Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi).

Conducted by the consultancy, London Economics, it scrutinized the costs and benefits of accommodating 231,000 overseas students who were enrolled in the UK educational institutions during the academic year of 2015-16. The researchers found that each annual admission of international students led Britain to earn £22.6 billion worth benefits through tuition fees, accommodation costs and other spending costs when they studied in the country. The costs of accommodating foreign students during each intake cost are around £2.3 billion. The researchers, therefore, concluded that net economic benefits of each new intake were worth slightly more £20 billion, or £310 for every Briton, during their studies.
Nick Hillman, director of Hepi, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that their previous figures on the advantages of welcoming international students into the European country were not accepted by the Home Office because those studies did not take into consideration the costs of accommodating them.

But government statistics have, at times, indicated that the accommodation costs of students were probably greater than the benefits. Mr Hilman said the search proved that they were not only wrong but also showed that the ratio of costs to benefits was around one to ten. The report of the Hepi was published before the latest official statistics for the academic year of 2016-17 on foreign students in the UK, which is to be published on 11 January. The number of foreign students pursuing their education in the UK is expected to be more or less unchanged compared to 2016.

The Hepi will submit the research of London Economics to the MAC (Migration Advisory Council), which, at present, is assessing the costs and benefits of foreign students, and it is expected that MAC will make a recommendation to the government about whether students should be included in the net migration figures of the government. It is said that Hepi was repeatedly urging the Home Office to exclude foreign students from the official net migration numbers.

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