Press release

MillionPlus comment on the importance of international students

16 May 2023

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (16 May) commented on the ‘Costs and benefits of international higher education students to the UK’ report published by Universities UK International (UUKi), the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), London Economics and Kaplan International.

Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“I warmly welcome this timely new report, exploring the benefits and costs of international students. The research demonstrates that, even if only looking at the main constituencies of our 23 member institutions, the 2021-22 cohort of international students brought a net benefit of more than £2 billion.

“International students offer far more than just a financial benefit to the UK, but this important research shines a light on one of the benefits that international students can bring to modern universities and their local economies. Any move to limit international students accessing UK higher education would be an act of economic self-harm.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  3. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  4. Modern universities: facts and stats 2022