Benefit of international students in Sheffield totals more than £2,000 per person - study shows

New research has revealed just one year’s intake of incoming international students in Sheffield Central is worth £313 million to the UK economy.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 10:00 am
International students represent 20 per cent of higher education students in the UK. (PiC: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The report, published today by Universities UK International and the Higher Education Policy Institute, with research from London Economics, finds the benefits of hosting international students significantly outweighs the costs.

Sheffield Central is the top constituency for net economic impact in the UK with the contribution to the economy of international students in the 2018/19 intake at £290 million. This means the area is financially better off by £2,520 per person on average because of international students.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very proud that Sheffield is renowned for being an inclusive and welcoming city. This report reflects the extensive contribution that our international students make, not only to our University but to the wider community.“Our global reputation for teaching and research attracts more than 7,000 international students from over 150 countries.

Koen Lamberts vice chancellor of Sheffield University. Picture Scott Merrylees

" During their time at university, international students play a vital role working on placements in local hospitals and businesses, volunteering for more than 140 Sheffield charities and schools and also enriching the cultural life of the city.”

In 2013 University of Sheffield launched the award-winning #WeAreInternational campaign with its Students’ Union to ensure the positive impact of international students and staff in UK universities was acknowledged. More than 160 universities, education institutions and international organisations supported the campaign.

Student numbers at UK universities have been hit by the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and changes to the tuition fee structure for EU students after Brexit. EU student acceptances to undergraduate degree courses were 56 per cent lower in early August 2021 than at the same time last year.

The analysis found international students account for 20 per cent of higher education students.

University of Sheffield Students Union

The analysis found that international students account for 20 per cent of higher education students. For every 14 EU-domiciled students and every 10 non EU students there is an economic impact of £1 million for the UK economy.

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, said: “While there has been a growing realisation of the tremendous social and cultural benefits of international students, this study provides a stark reminder of their financial importance to communities across the UK, economic recovery and the levelling up agenda."

Sheffield Hallam students union.