Study Abroad: Surge in International Student Population in Northern Ireland Adds £1bn to Economy

Study Abroad: Surge in International Student Population in Northern Ireland Adds £1bn to Economy

In just four years, the number of international students studying at universities in Northern Ireland has almost risen four times. In this new study, foreign students have a high economic influence in the UK. With this study, it is clear that the total value of international students to Northern Ireland’s economy is nearly £1bn (INR 10,000 lakh). 

The above figures are supported by the estimate of the Department for the Economy (DfE), Queen’s University and Ulster University. Given the estimate of these organisations, 15,000 international students studying in Northern Ireland universities during the 2021-22 academic year, as opposed to about 4,000 in 2018-19. This surge is credited to an increase in part-time modules for international nurses and midwives who are seeking UK registration in Ulster University‘s academic programmes in London and Birmingham.

The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Universities UK International (UUKI) recently released this new report. This study assesses the advantages and disadvantages of international students for the UK economy.

Population of non-EU students in Northern Ireland

  • In the academic year 2021-22, more than 14,500 students from non-EU nations were at the universities of Ireland. The total number of students in this EU nation was 69,500 in this academic year.
  • Overseas students in the universities of Northern Ireland come from 135 countries. Most of the students are from India, the Philippines, and China. 
  • Each international student spends somewhere between £15,000 to £30,000 for academic programmes in Northern Ireland. 

Positive Impact of Overseas Students in Northern Ireland

According to the report by HEPI and UUKI, international students who started their studies at Northern Ireland’s universities in 2021/22 would make a combined contribution of £0.95bn (INR 97.7 lakh) to the economy throughout their academic careers. Also, international students also bring diversity to university campuses in addition to financial benefits. With cultural diversity, they enhance the learning experience.

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