Indian, non-EU students contribute £4.6 billion to London | world news | Hindustan Times
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Indian, non-EU students contribute £4.6 billion to London

Recent research in the higher education sector shows that international students are a vital source of export earnings for the UK.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2018 17:20 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
The Theresa May government has been resisting demands to remove students from overall migration figures.
The Theresa May government has been resisting demands to remove students from overall migration figures.(Representational Photo)

Indian and other non-EU students who typically pay at least three times the annual fee for academic courses than British or EU students, contribute £4.6 billion to London’s economy annually, according to mayor Sadiq Khan.

Khan and five mayors of major regions in England, in an open letter to Financial Times, set out the financial and other contributions that international students make. The Theresa May government has been resisting demands to remove students from overall migration figures.

The six mayors detailed the financial contribution of the students: London (mayor Sadiq Khan) – £4.6 billion; the West Midlands (mayor Andy Street) – £1.2 billion; Greater Manchester (mayor Andy Burnham) – £852 million; City of Liverpool region (mayor Steve Rotheram) – £469 million; West of England (mayor Tim Bowles) – £374 million; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (mayor James Palmer) – £278 million, and the Tees Valley (mayor Ben Houchen) – £203 million.

London and the five regions have a large number of universities that attract Indian students, whose number has dwindled since 2010, when the Conservative government introduced curbs as part of measures to bring down net migration into the United Kingdom.

The mayors wrote: “International students who studied in our regions in 2015-16 provide a £8 billion net economic benefit. This helps support local businesses and provides a boost for tourism. These students also enrich our university campuses and the experience of UK students.

“Many students return home having built strong professional and personal links that benefit our regions, and the UK as a whole in terms of long-lasting, ‘soft’ diplomatic power.”

Recent research in the higher education sector shows that international students are a vital source of export earnings for the UK, as well as a source of investment in the UK’s towns and cities, generating a net economic benefit of over £20 billion for the UK economy.

“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is important that any future immigration system acknowledges the vital contribution international students make to regional jobs and growth,” the mayors wrote.

“This includes sending a more open and welcoming message to international students, and improving post-study work opportunities for qualified international graduates in the UK to work and contribute to our regional economies.”