International Students Contribute £22.6 Billion to the UK Economy

By January 12, 2018 Press Releases

A study by London Economics, commissioned by the Higher Education Policy Institute, has found that each annual intake of international students brought £22.6 billion of economic benefits to the UK through tuition fees, accommodation, and other forms of spending during their studies.

Over the course of their studies, the benefit of an EU student was £87,000 on average, while the average cost was £19,000. Non-EU students brought £102,000 on average, with just £7,000 in costs.


Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA, said:


“UK universities, like our creative industries, are a success story. Four of the top five universities in Europe are British and our universities attract talented students from across the world. As this HEPI study shows, there are significant economic benefits to welcoming international students.

“The UK Government must take steps to ensure that UK universities remain world-leading after Brexit. It is vital that EU funding streams continue or are replaced. UK universities should be enabled to participate in collaborative EU research schemes such as Horizon 2020. EU citizens should remain welcome to study in the UK. UK universities, supported by the Government, should aim to increase our share of the market for overseas students.

“International students also provide a potential reservoir of talent for UK businesses.  Every year, our universities are producing an impressive pool of international graduates and UK businesses should have easier access to this talent.

“Many businesses depend on highly skilled foreign workers. In the video games industry, for example, EU workers currently make up 15 per cent of the video games industry, while 5 per cent come from countries outside the EU. To compete on a global level, we need access to global talent.”

Notes to Editors


Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport statistics available here:



About TIGA


TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. We achieve this by campaigning for the industry in the corridors of power, championing the industry in the media and helping our members commercially.


TIGA is intent on building an enduring organisation which continually improves; a business that will make a significant impact on the games industry and so benefit our membership and the wider economy. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards, an achievement which reflects TIGA’s drive for improvement and to meet best practice.


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