Almost 460,000 international students chose to study at a UK higher education institution (HEI) in 2017/18. We have made no estimate of the number of overseas students that will attend UK HEIs between 2019-20 and 2024-25, or their contribution to the UK economy.
In the International Education Strategy, published in March 2019, the government set out its ambition to both increase the value of education exports to £35 billion per year and to increase the total number of international students hosted by UK universities to 600,000 by 2030, an increase of over 30%.
We fully recognise the important contribution that international students make to the UK’s higher education sector, both economically and culturally. They bring greater diversity to university and college campuses, an international dimension to the experience of all students, stimulate demand for courses, and add to the UK’s impressive research capacity. They are also an important source of income for our education sector. International students at UK HEIs contributed an estimated £11.9 billion to the UK economy in 2016 through tuition fees and living expenditure.