The Impact of International Students to the UK Economy

Posted: August 21, 2017 - to UK Essays

The impact of international students coming to the UK to join the education has always been a debated subject. On one side, some people believe that students are taking vital places that could otherwise have been used for UK students, forcing them to miss out on potential education opportunities. On the other, some groups believe that the influx of international students is perfect for the UK and is a much-needed process that benefits all.

According to the latest 2017 statistics, the latter group is right, especially when it comes to the UK economy. According to the recent study, conducted by groups at Oxford Economics, between the years of 2014 to 2015, international students alone contributed to the support of over 206,000 jobs found in university cities and in towns found across the United Kingdom.

The total input sum discovered by the economics group included the money that these international students brought with them from their home countries. This includes the price paid for their courses in the form of tuition fees, which totalled around £10.8 billion during the year-long research period.

In addition to this, the sums of money spent on factors such as accommodation were also included. This included utility bills, food bills, goods, services, including train and buses services and other activities such as theme parks, zoo trips, beach days and other social activities including concerts and nights out in their respective towns. All this combined is consistently adding to the UK economy, money that would have otherwise been impossible to obtain.

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To give you a rough idea, in the transport sections alone, international students helped to contribute over £750 million whilst adding an included £690 million throughout retail outlets. On top of all this, parents, family, friends and loved ones would also come and visit students during their educational period in the UK. This helps to bring even more money to the economy in the form of social activities, hotels, restaurants and other attractions found all over the UK.

One of the final elements that were considered included the amount of money that international students contributed to the system through part-time jobs. Not only does it help shop owners to operate more efficiently, it also helps to keep money circulating around the economy.


As a quick recap, here are the figures that international students helped to contribute to the UK.

  • Tuition Fees - £4.8 Billion
  • Off-Campus Goods and Services - £5.4 billion
  • Visitors to International Students - £520 million
  • UK Export Earnings - £10.8 billion
  • Jobs Supported by International Student Spending – 206,500
  • Off-Campus Generated Tax - £1 billion

All in all, the total contribution to the UK economy through international students averages around the £25 billion mark. This is a huge contribution to the economy that has helped the UK to achieve so much. To put things into perspective, this total figure is equal to nearly 800,000 nurse’s salaries for a year, making this a figure the UK simply cannot do without.

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