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Overseas students contribute £25 billion to the UK economy

Overseas students contribute £25 billion to the UK economy

The UK has been hugely successful in attracting overseas students to higher institutions in the country, welcoming more international undergraduates than any other country other than the USA. These international students have contributed enormously to economic growth in recent years, supporting more job opportunities and generating wealth through living and social costs.

Britain is a proven global destination for higher education, with its universities showing strongly in the world rankings and international students not discouraged by the uncapped tuition fees. However, with Brexit negotiations looming and uncertainty in the country, will British higher education institutions still attract masses of international students each year?

Generating more over £25 billion for the economy and supporting more than 200,000 jobs in cities across the country, international students are a great asset to the UK. The international student population has sustained impressive growth for decades, with the elite universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and University College London attracting large numbers of overseas students.

With Article 50 set to be triggered by Theresa May on Wednesday 29th March to begin the process of leaving the European Union, it is more important than ever to go the extra mile to keep foreign students coming to study and support economic growth. University officials have spoken about the need for continued investment to ensure they do not lose out on international talent. Urging the government to support UK universities in maintaining global recognition, leaders of prestigious Oxford University advised politicians to ensure that EU citizens will be able to reside in post-Brexit Britain.

Whilst affecting mainly foreign student applicants, it will also be a huge concern for EU employees who work in universities, with their future in the UK under threat. Universities are heavily reliant on EU citizens who work as lecturers and researchers, and it could put the reputation of the UK’s most higher education sector at risk.

There are claims that Britain’s future out of the EU could work in the favour of the UK university sector. The weaker pound will certainly be an attractive aspect as many international students can now take advantage of cheaper tuition fees, particularly those from Asia. With the outcome of the referendum vote announced after the UCAS application deadline last year, it’s hard to say whether students will be tempted by other universities outside of the UK. Although UCAS announced last year that there was a fall in undergraduates for the first time in five years, they only form a small part of the whole student population.

The situation is by no means a negative one, and we should be confident that our university sector can thrive outside of EU. In terms of student housing, the North continues to prosper with soaring demand in cities in the North West, particularly Salford and Liverpool, where yields can reach as high as 8%.

Interested in taking advantage of the great rental yields available with student accommodation investment? Have a look at our available investment opportunities and get in touch today!