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International Students are Good for the Economy

A new report from London First and PwC has revealed that international students have a positive impact on the UK economy.

According to the research:

  • International students in London bring a net benefit of £2.3 billion to the UK economy.
  • They support nearly 70,000 jobs in London because of the money they spend here.
  • It is not true that international students are a burden to our public services, such as the NHS. They contribute a total of £2.8 billion through the spending they bring to the country, while only consuming £540 million in public spending.
  • 60% of international students including alumni said they are more likely to do business with the UK as a result of studying here.
  • London’s Higher Education system is an export success story, with 92% of students saying that they would recommend studying in the UK to their friends and family.

However, the research also revealed that many international students were critical of the UK’s immigration system:

  • More than a third of students found that Britain’s immigration system, particularly its complexity, negatively affected their experience of studying here.
  • A vast majority of students also commented that the system made it difficult to secure work in the UK after they had completed their studies.

“International students are made to feel unwelcome because of anti-immigration rhetoric – and the fact that they are currently included in the Government’s net migration target,” explained Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First. “But students’ expenditure here is a modern-day export: they pay substantial fees and contribute significantly in consumer spending.”

“As a matter of priority, our new Government should follow the lead of Australia and Canada and reclassify international students as temporary visitors, not migrants,” she added. “It makes no sense to imply through classification and rhetoric that they are unwelcome, which is harming our universities’ abilities to sell education to talented students around the world.”

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