International Student Myth 2: It costs too much to have students in the UK

In the second of a five-part series on common misconceptions about international students and visa lawsNicole Froio looks at the cost of international students.

Myth 2: It costs too much to have students here

Foreign students usually come from wealthy families, but they are looking for something more than an education. Many are looking for an experience and for a multicultural exchange. And they bring in more money than it costs to keep them in the UK.

The following are only some of the things these students must pay for when studying in the UK: plane tickets, accommodation, food, clothes, books, and, of course, tuition fees.

Research by Universities UK suggests that Britain could miss out on £2.4bn in a decade by making the country less welcoming to foreign students. As the foreign education market is expected to double by 2020, the UK would be missing out on a huge source of money to fund the education system. It is estimated that international students contribute £8bn to the UK economy every year.

A big part of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) Higher Education departments depend heavily on the fees paid by international students. And that’s the program most foreign students go for when in the UK.

This year Home Office’s inflexibility prevented education from gaining £66 million because Brazilian students opted for countries with more open laws like Australia and the United States. The same is happening with students from other nations – the Indian students’ applications are down by 38%.

Tomorrow: should laws on international students be tighter? Nicole Froio blogs at and tweets at @nicolefroio.

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