New figures reveal international students are worth £651 million to the city of Coventry

People sat on green steps outside Coventry University Library

Students from 160 nations currently study at Coventry University's city centre campus

University news / Student news

Tuesday 25 June 2024

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International students are worth £651 million to the city of Coventry, new figures show.

The data is available for the first time for each parliamentary constituency and shows that the net totals for Coventry South, Coventry East and Coventry North West combine to reach £651 million.

Coventry South saw the sixth largest gross benefit in the UK from international students at £480m. Once the cost to public services of £44m is taken into account, that left a net impact of £436m.

In Coventry East the gross benefit of £129m and public services cost of £12m created a net impact of £117m, while Coventry North West’s impact was calculated at £98m from benefits of £108m, minus costs of £10m.

The figures - published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Kaplan International Pathways and commissioned from London Economics - also show how the benefits equate per person in the city. The impact was £3,360 per person in Coventry South, £990 per person in Coventry East and £920 for each resident in Coventry North West.

Thousands of international students from 160 nations currently study at Coventry University’s city centre campus every year, while neighbouring the University of Warwick also welcomes learners from overseas. Coventry University received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious business award, for its tireless work building relationships with institutions and companies throughout the world, while also drawing students from around the globe to its campuses across the UK. The award was one of the last Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II approved before her death.

The benefits of international students for the top 20 constituencies combined – 17 from England, one from Scotland, one from Wales and one from Northern Ireland – totalled at £8.3 billion.

We have always known and nurtured the incredibly positive impact that international students have on our city and these figures show that welcoming students from overseas has an invaluable impact on everyone who calls Coventry their home.

We want this to continue for years to come but recent Government actions have had a dramatic effect on the number of overseas students coming to the UK as restrictions on some student visas and political rhetoric led to a 40% year-on-year drop in international student recruitment at English universities in January’s intake.

Should numbers continue to drop then Coventry as a whole could lose out to the tune of millions of pounds and everything must be done to keep the city’s doors open to students who have so much to offer to our communities in so many ways.

Professor John Latham CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University

A previous study showed that each parliamentary constituency was an average of £58m better off thanks to international students, however the residencies of international students were not known and the economic impact was spread equally across all regions of the UK.

The new data benefits from identifying where international students live, leading to more detailed figures.

The availability of new and improved data on where international students live has allowed us to arrive at more robust estimates of the net economic benefit associated with international students in each parliamentary constituency.

We hope that the incoming Government, and every newly-elected MP in every constituency, will pay close attention to these findings – both for the sake of the financial sustainability of the higher education sector and the growth of the UK economy as a whole.

James Cannings, Senior Economic Consultant at London Economics