According to 2020-21 figures, Indians are the second-largest group of foreign students enrolling in UK colleges, trailing only China (99,965 enrollments) and exceeding Nigeria (32,945).

According to Dr. Gavan Conlon, Partner at London Economics, who was contracted to do the analysis, international students boost both local and national economic well-being by giving nearly 10 times more to the economy than they take out.

UK Economy

However, international students enable universities to do cutting-edge research and teaching that would not be possible otherwise. He praised universities for their success in attracting international students because it represented one of the UK’s most important export industries.

The study was commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), Universities UK International (UUKi), and Kaplan International Pathways in response to a continuing political debate about potential restrictions on dependent visas for international students, as well as potential reductions in their post-study work visa rights.


According to reports, Home Secretary Suella Braverman intends to crack down on overseas students who bring dependents with them because it is believed that this adds to the country’s increasing migration rates.

“Despite conflicting messages from policymakers,” says Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI (an independent body), “the number of overseas students has been rapidly increasing, demonstrating the UK’s appeal to individuals seeking to improve themselves through education.”

“Any future changes to the laws governing international students must be supported by facts rather than arbitrary judgements.” As a result, the goal of this report is to supplement the existing body of data. “We hope that every candidate from every major political party reads it in the run-up to the next election,” he said.

The report ‘The costs and benefits of international higher education students to the UK’ shows that the total economic advantages from overseas students increased by 34% between 2018-19 and 2021-22, from 31.3 billion to 41.9 billion pounds.

According to the analysis, “hosting international students has significant economic benefits that far outweigh the costs, with a total net benefit to the UK economy of 37.4 billion pounds.” According to the report’s data, every eleven non-EU students contribute one million pounds to the UK economy.

According to Jamie Arrowsmith, Director of UUKi, an association that represents 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, “international students must continue to find the UK to be a friendly and open country, and their contributions must be acknowledged.”

According to the most recent census data, Indians have surpassed Chinese applications for study visas. This growth can be ascribed in part to the relatively new Graduate Route visa, which was established in July 2021 and allows international students to continue working after completing their degree. Any visa limitations are likely to make the United Kingdom less appealing to Indian students.

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