University statement in response to the HEPI report on overseas students and the cost of research in UK universities

A University of Sheffield statement following the publication of a report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) on overseas students and the cost of research in UK universities.

University statement in response to the HEPI report on overseas students and the cost of research in UK universities

The University of Sheffield welcomes the public acknowledgement of the vital contribution that international students make not only directly to their own teaching but also the facilities and research which underpin the reputation of the UK’s universities. In Sheffield, for example, we would not have been able to build the £81 million Diamond learning and teaching facility without the crucial contribution of international students.

The UK is second only to the US for the recruitment of talented students from around the world, and the investment made by families in the education of their children in turn enables UK universities such as Sheffield to continue to offer an outstanding education to both overseas and UK students within a globally-leading research environment.

Having said this, it is vital that the UK government recognises that research funding in the UK has decreased in real terms over a decade and that, particularly in areas of comparatively lower international undergraduate student recruitment but high cost such as Science, this reduced level of public investment is a significant disadvantage to the UK compared to other countries.

The UK repeatedly states that its ability to be a high-productivity, innovative and globally competitive economy in the future will depend crucially on the research and development undertaken within our universities and the ability of UK companies to absorb this research through effective translation and skills development. These are all areas where international students are currently making a vital contribution to our universities, towns and cities across the UK but their investment cannot be taken for granted and is no excuse for an absence of sustainable financing of research in the long-term.