EU students attending UK universities generate £3.7 billion for the UK economy and support more than 34,000 jobs across the country, said Universities UK. It found that, based on 2011–12 student numbers, these EU students generated £1.44 billion through direct on–campus spending and £2.27 billion through off-campus spending on goods and services.
Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Kent, said the figures showed that EU students “spend money and create jobs in all regions and corners of the UK”.
She added, “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.”
Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said, “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.”