Press release

MillionPlus comments on Universities UK international students research

06 Mar 2017

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (6 March) commented on research from Universities UK, showing that international students are now worth £25bn to the UK economy.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“This analysis confirms yet again the value of international students to every region and country of the UK. This value goes way beyond the fee income and off-campus expenditure associated with international students. Students from overseas bring a richness and diversity of experience which informs the study and widens the horizons of home students in ways which cannot be counted in monetary terms.

“The analysis is important for other reasons because it shows the contribution that EU students make in their own right to universities in the UK. Our membership of the European Union has allowed UK universities to link up with institutions and students from countries which are among our closest neighbours, bringing reciprocal benefits to UK students who have been able to study in Europe.

“Brexit brings a new dimension and potentially new challenges to these relationships. It is essential that the future status and mobility of both European and UK students form a key part of the negotiations to leave the European Union. It would be wrong to assume that EU students should be classified as international students in the future. Equally, Ministers should drop plans to differentiate between universities; ensure that all UK universities are able to trade globally and recruit international students outside of the European Union who are not counted in the migration figures; and who are made much more welcome in an improved and revised visa regime.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. The latest figures focus on the impact of international students at a UK-wide level and also for the nine regions of England (East Midlands; East of England; London; North East; North West; South East; South West; West Midlands; Yorkshire and the Humber). Separate studies have been produced looking at the economic impact of universities in Wales and Scotland.
  3. The Economic Impact of International Students briefing is published on 6 March
  4. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email