As supported by a recent study on the financial effects of overseas students in the UK. The entire economic contribution of foreign students to Northern Ireland’s economy is close to £1 billion. In 2021/22, the Department for the Economy (DE) estimated that Queen’s and Ulster University would have 15,000 or so overseas students. In contrast, there were around 4,000 foreign students in 2018–19.
But some of the increase can be attributed to Ulster University (UU) programmes in Birmingham and London. As well as a part-time course for international nurses and midwives seeking UK registration. The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Universities UK overseas (UUKI) have released a new analysis on the advantages and disadvantages of having overseas students in the UK economy.
Approximately 381,000 new international students from both inside and outside the European Union (EU). In expectation, to enrol in higher education in the UK in 2021–2022. Also, this study examined the overall economic advantages and costs of these students.
London Economics, a business and policy consulting firm, examined the financial effects of overseas students. It calculated the financial contribution of international students, taking into account the amount they paid for tuition, housing, and other living expenses while enrolled in classes.
It weighed it against expenses like university tuition and the increased strain on public services.
According to the HEPI and UUKI analysis, foreign students started attending Northern Ireland’s institutions in 2021/22. They would contribute a total of £0.95 billion to the economy throughout the length of their studies.
According to the survey, there are many reasons why overseas students choose the UK as their study abroad location. Including the standing of UK degrees, with postgraduate degrees especially well-liked. Additionally, it stated that they contributed more than just financial gains by “diversifying campuses” and “enriching the learning environment“.
More Students from Outside the EU
Over the past four years, the number of students from the Republic of Ireland studying in Northern Ireland has remained comparatively stable at 2,200. Although there aren’t many students from other EU countries, the number of students from outside the EU has dramatically increased. As per the data from the Department for the Economy for 2021/22, more than one in five students at universities in Northern Ireland were from countries outside the EU.
Out of 69,500 total students, more than 14,500 were overseas students in 2021/22. Over 135 different nations sent students to Northern Ireland, with the majority of them hailing from China, India, and the Philippines. In Northern Ireland, non-EU students often pay between £15,000 and more than £30,000 in annual tuition fees. This is significantly more than native, EU, or UK students.
The economic impact of overseas students is also broken down by each UK region and parliamentary constituency in the HEPI and UUKI report. Due to the concentration of international students in south Belfast, it was determined that this area would benefit the most.
According to data previously released by the two largest universities in Northern Ireland. International students account for nearly £70 million in fees and grants. As per the QUB finances, international students generated £57 million in fees and grants in 2021–22. Whereas UU collected little less than £12 million in foreign student fees during that time.
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