3 Ways International Students in London Universities Contribute to the UK Economy

Foreign students doing a training course

London has continued to grow as a melting pot for international students in the UK. It is culturally diverse and has a cosmopolitan lifestyle as well as an entrenched history. A main component of these is its student population. In 2011 and 2012, international students comprised 26 % (almost 103,000 students) of the city’s total student population. (This is according to the UK Council for International Student Affairs.)

Also, London and Partners produced a report sequel to a study by its Strategy and Insight team. It found that international students contributed £3 billion to the UK economy. (This was in the 2013-2014 academic year.) Also, this population segment supported more than 37,000 jobs. Apart from all that, here are the three major ways foreign students are making an impact on the UK economy.

Subsistence Spending

This accounts for the largest portion (55 %) in the total international students' spending. This percentage represents £1.641 billion. Most of the costs are on student accommodation and housing rentals. Because of this, the city saw a spur in the development of real estate. Establishments had to respond to the demand for student accommodation in London. By 2015, this market was worth an estimated £1.5 billion.

Direct School Fees

As you may or may not know, international students pay tuition fees at higher rates compared with students from the UK or EU. Their tuition costs accounted for 41 % of total amount they contributed to the London economy. This amounts to £1.218 billion. (This was in the academic year 2013-2014.)

Friends and Relatives Visiting the City

This is the smallest part in the spending of the population segment. Yet, it still stands at £131 million. That is 4 % of the total amount.

It is quite evident that foreign students are an integral part of the London economy and the UK economy at large. More than that, international students strengthen the UK’s cultural and political ties with other countries. Given the continuous inflow of international students, it doesn’t seem like that’s about to change.