EU students vital to regional economies and jobs

EU students at UK universities generate £3.7bn for the UK economy and support over 34,000 jobs in all corners of the country, according to analysis from Universities UK.

The new analysis looks at the impact of EU students across all regions and nations of the UK. Currently, there are around 125,000 students from other EU countries studying at UK universities, representing 5 per cent of the total UK student population (the top 5 EU countries sending students to the UK are: Germany [13,675 students], France [11,955], Ireland [10,905], Italy [10,525] and Greece [10,130]).

Students on campusThe analysis (which is based on 2011–12 student number figures) shows that:

  • EU students spent £220m on campus (money paid directly to universities in fees and costs) – generating £1.44bn for the UK economy.
  • They also spent £1.49bn on goods and services off-campus (such as food, rent, going out etc) – generating a further £2.27bn.
  • This combined (on-campus and off-campus) expenditure generated a total of £3.7bn for the whole UK economy.
  • Through their on-campus expenditure (supporting 15,252 jobs) and spending off-campus (supporting 18,998 jobs), EU students supported or created a total of 34,250 (FTE) jobs throughout the UK.

The analysis showed the impact of EU students across all regions and nations of the UK:

In Yorkshire and Humberside, EU students generated £167.7m for the regional economy and 1,638 jobs
In the South West of England, EU students generated £168.2m for the regional economy and 1,481 jobs
In the East of England, EU students generated £247.5m for the regional economy and 2,295 jobs
In the East Midlands, EU students generated £143m for the regional economy and 1,341 jobs
In London, EU students generated £788.9m for the regional economy and 7,580 jobs
In the North East of England, students generated £82m for the regional economy and 770 jobs
In the North West of England, EU students generated £221.6m for the regional economy and 2,112 jobs
In the South East of England, EU students generated £420.3m for the regional economy and 4,021 jobs
In the South West of England, EU students generated £168.2m for the regional economy and 1,481 jobs
In the West Midlands, EU students generated £219m for the regional economy and 2,079 jobs
In Scotland, EU students generated £414.1 for the economy and 3,743 jobs
In Northern Ireland, EU students generated £78.1m for the economy and 841 jobs
In Wales, EU students generated £132.9m for the economy and 1,264 jobs

Commenting on the figures, Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: "EU students make an enormous contribution to British university life and local communities. The figures show clearly that EU students spend money and create jobs in all regions and corners of the UK. EU students also make a very important academic and cultural contribution to university life, creating an international, outward-looking culture on campuses which, in turn, benefits UK students.

“Leaving the EU and putting up barriers to work and study makes it more likely that European students and researchers will choose to go elsewhere, strengthening our competitors and weakening the UK’s universities."

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "The talented students who travel from across the globe to study in the UK are a true asset to our country. Today's figures make clear that our university and region have benefited enormously from the outstanding EU students who come to study here.

'I have taught exceptional students from across Europe for many years. I have seen them make an enormous contribution across all subjects, volunteer to support local charities and build friendships with UK students which often last a lifetime. Their economic impact is also profound, supporting local businesses and creating jobs."

Universities and Science Minster Jo Johnson said: “Our success as a knowledge economy hinges on our ability to collaborate with the best minds from across Europe and the world.

“It would be reckless to cut ourselves off from the rich sources of EU funding, the access to valuable shared research facilities and the close institutional ties that provide so many opportunities to British students and academics.

“UK students benefit from their ability to study across the EU, while EU students generate billions for the UK economy, support thousands of jobs and enrich university life. I share the clear view of my predecessors and the majority of university leaders that our world-class universities and our scientific prowess will be much better off inside the EU.”

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2016 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Shemina Davis
Media Relations Manager
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 5339
shemina.davis@sheffield.ac.uk