University highlights value of international students and alumni

The University recently unveiled ground breaking research at the House of Commons that shows international students in Sheffield are responsible for pumping over £120 million into the city’s economy over a single year.

The study, developed by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the University of Sheffield, highlights the huge contribution international students and alumni make to the city and the UK economy.

This is the first research by a university to evaluate both the financial contribution and the costs of international students, to conclude that there are net benefits to the city’s economy of £120 million, and to the wider region of up to £176 million.

The data highlights that 8.9 per cent of international students go on to boost local labour supplies as graduates by utilising their skills directly in Yorkshire and Humberside. The impact of international alumni is felt outside the city too, with an additional 10.7 per cent employed in the rest of the UK, supporting the national workforce with fresh skills and talent.

The research follows concerns from the University of Sheffield that international students are being discouraged from studying in the UK because the country is seen as less welcoming following changes to visa rules and political rhetoric over immigration.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor said: “Here at Sheffield, we're proud of the extensive contribution our international students and alumni make to both the University and the city, boosting the city’s economy by a net figure of £120 million, something that will be reflected in other towns and cities nationally. I’d like to thank them for this important contribution and show the world how much we value it.”

In addition to the key role international students play economically, the report highlights the future benefit for UK diplomacy when international alumni attain positions of influence abroad; and increased tourism revenues when international alumni return to visit the region.

Dr Philip Harvey, Registrar and Secretary of the University of Sheffield, added: “The city's international students are Sheffield's ambassadors on a global scale reaching out every day into hundreds of different countries. By providing them with an education, training and a truly memorable student experience, we are doing something that will be cherished and remembered throughout their lives wherever they are in the world, continually placing the city of Sheffield on the global map.”

To highlight the importance the University places on our international students and fostering international relationships, the Vice-Chancellor visited India in March.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett led a delegation of staff from the University with the aim of fostering research connections between Sheffield and Indian institutions and business, as well as highlighting the tremendous value that students from India bring to the UK as part of a thriving internationally-leading university.

In addition to meeting Indian education institutions and businesses the delegation also met with Indian alumni to listen to their perspectives on ways that the University of Sheffield can positively engage with India in the future.

Professor Sir Keith said: "India is an extraordinary nation with enormous strengths in education. Our students from India are a vital part of our university and increasingly this is a two-way process as our engineering students become involved in global engineering challenges in India and look at opportunities to learn and later as alumni to work all over the world."

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