The FINANCIAL — Aston University has highlighted the huge financial and social impact international students and alumni have on the Midlands region in its submission to the Migration Advisory Committee, the agency set up to advise the Government on migration issues.
The Migration Advisory Committee is undertaking a year-long inquiry into the economic and social impact of international students in the UK.
Major new research by London Economics, commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways, shows that the benefits of international students studying in the UK are ten times greater than the costs.
The study – The costs and benefits of international students by parliamentary constituency – reveals international students have a net positive economic impact on the UK as a whole, and across all regions.
For the West Midlands alone, the analysis reveals international students generate a £1.95 billion net impact on the region. Only the South East region and the London area generate more at £2.44 billion and £4.64 billion, respectively, according to Aston University.
Professor Alec Cameron, Vice Chancellor of Aston University said: “The international students enrolled on our university courses enrich the learning environment on campus and contribute hugely to local businesses and the local economy in many ways.
“We have highlighted this positive input in our response to the Migration Advisory Committee. However, it doesn’t end with our current students. Aston’s international alumni continue to make a significant contribution to the UK economy and society long after they have graduated by generating soft power for the UK from abroad. It is impossible to put a figure on that impact.
“We are calling on the Government to safeguard the UK’s position as a premier destination for international students, by ensuring the UK’s student and post-study work visas are attractive compared to our international competitors.”
The research study provides for the first time a detailed analysis of the costs as well as the benefits to the UK of welcoming 231,000 new international students each year.
The gross benefits of international students, including tuition fees, other spending and economic knock-on effects, amount to £22.6 billion, which works out at an average £87,000 for each EU student and £102,000 for each non EU student.
The public costs of hosting international students, including education, health and social security, total £2.3 billion which amounts to an average £19,000 for each EU and £7,000 for non EU student.