Sheffield's international students give £120m boost to local economy

Universities hope the news will prompt the government to rethink its policies on international students

Sheffield's international students pump more than £120m a year into the city's economy, according to a Sheffield University and Oxford Economics study. Researchers found that their tuition fees and living expenses, as well as visits from relatives, brought around £136m to the wider region of Yorkshire and the Humber.

The university announced the findings following concerns that visa changes and political rhetoric are discouraging international students from applying to the UK. The number of postgraduate students travelling from non-EU countries to study at UK universities dropped 1% during the academic year 2011-12 – the first fall in 16 years.

Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor at the University of Sheffield, says the study demonstrates the economic benefits overseas students can bring. "Both the university and our students believe the impact of this research and its nationwide implications can influence changes in policy to make sure the UK doesn't unwittingly deter people of the talent of international students, who have a great contribution to make and are such a vital part of the success of British universities."

Some 9,370 international students studied at universities in Sheffield 2011-12, around 3% of those coming to the UK.



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