Jan 26, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

A new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) shows that international students contribute £20bn, or about $28 billion to the UK economy.

The news bolsters support to remove students from immigration targets.

Every year, about 230,000 students arrive to study in the UK—many postgraduates, and many from China.

London Economics, who conducted the analysis, calculated the financial contributions of international students and considered tuition and living expenses.

HEPI’s director, Nick Hillman, said in a report on the BBC website that the report shows that international students offer a huge benefit to the UK economy.

He said, “International students bring economic benefits to the UK that are worth 10 times the costs of hosting them.”

He added, “Fewer international students would mean a lot fewer jobs in all areas of the UK, because international students spend money in their universities, in their local economies. It is literally the sandwich shops, the bike shops, the taxi firms; it’s the nightclubs, it’s the bookshops.”

Hillman concluded, “Without international students, some of the local companies might go bust. Some of the local resident population would lose their jobs.”

HEPI argues that international students be removed from the debate about reducing net migration.

The UK Home Office has reported “no plans” for that kind of change. In the BBC article, a Home Office spokeswoman said, “There is no limit to the number of genuine international students that can come to the UK to study and we very much value the contribution that they make.”

Learn more about studying in the UK.  

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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