International Students to the UK contribute £20.3 Billion its Economy
The latest report highlights the spending by International students to the UK has positively impacted the local economy.
As per the latest joint research published by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways, it found that the benefits of the overseas students, from both, within and outside Europe makes a positive economic impact on every constituency of the UK, contributing about £20.3 billion to the economy. The report shows the detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of 230,000 overseas students who come to the UK every year.
The report also points the positive economic impact brought by the overseas students on London’s economy to be £4.6 billion net, also, resulting in a positive impact in the deprived regions in the north-east. While the EU students had a £68,000 positive impact on the economy, the non-EU students had a greater impact of £ 95,000 on the economy.
Nick Hillman, the director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said international students bring economic benefits to the UK that are “worth 10 times the cost of hosting them”, asked that the government should review seriously on the report, considering the merits it brings to the economy, however, he also adds, Trying to persuade the Home Office that international students nearly always benefit the UK can feel like banging one’s head against a brick wall.”
These statistics of the positive economic impact on the UK’s economy by the international students have has pressured British Prime Minister Theresa May to review her policy towards international students. Also, it has led to prove how this could be injurious to UK’s international image of it being an unwelcoming study abroad destination.
However, there are many senior government figures, like the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to be in favour of the change. There is even Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott who welcomed the study, adding: “As well as receiving all sorts of cultural benefits from international students, over 300 pounds a year for every UK resident is no small sum. “
She further said, “Theresa May is increasingly isolated on this issue, stubbornly refusing to change her policy of including international students in the Tories’ net migration target. She is too weak to accept she is in the wrong.”
Even the campaign groups like The Independent and Open Britain are championing for soft Brexit, and appealing the government to soften its stance on immigration policies for students.
With the pressure piling up, the government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee which shall review the impact of international students on the local economic growth and how that growth affect the provision and quality of education provided in the UK. The report is said to be released in September 2018. Mr Nick Hillman, welcoming the change, stated: “We now implore ministers and civil servants as well as the MAC to take this new evidence with the seriousness of its merits. Given the detail that we are presenting, we also urge the MAC to report earlier than the planned date of September 2018.”
Linda Cowan, the managing director of Kaplan International Pathways, the co-study partner to the report, added, “By calculating the net impact by region and constituency, the study shows that international students bring economic benefits to regions throughout the UK. “The challenge now is to ensure the UK provides a compelling and attractive offer as the best place to study. To be successful, we need a bold commitment from Government as it considers the Immigration Bill to show the UK welcomes international students more than ever. A key step would be to stop counting students as immigrants in net migrations statistics,” she concluded.