International students boost Norfolk and Waveney economy by almost £200m
- Credit: Archant
International students boost the Norfolk and Waveney economy by almost £200m, a new study says, with Norwich alone seeing a benefit of £85m.
Students from around the globe provided a net economic benefit of £194m to the area in 2015/16, a new study from the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways shows.
In the Norwich South constituency - home to both the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) - the figure was a remarkable £84.6m.
It varied elsewhere across the region, with £14.2m in Norwich North, £13m in Waveney, £8.1m in North Norfolk and £12.5m in South West Norfolk.
Amanda Monfrooe, international marketing and recruitment manager at NUA, said the figures showed the 'substantial economic benefits' in welcoming international students.
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She said: 'The international students who come here to study also enrich the cultural and social life of the community - diverse opinions, perspectives and experiences do us good.
'We also know that our graduates return to their home countries – and elsewhere in the world – as ambassadors for the city and the UK. They feel a tremendous fondness for Norwich having had such an enriching cultural exchange during their studies.'
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UEA's vice-chancellor professor David Richardson agreed, saying the city and county's economy would be 'much the poorer without them'.
'As important as the economics, however, is the cultural contribution the students make to local life and life on campus,' he said.
'We know UK students benefit from working and learning alongside students from other countries and cultures and vice versa. That's all part of the value of getting a great university education but I also believe international students help enrich the diversity and cultural life of the city and county.'
He said it would be interesting to see whether the government would consider taking international students out of immigration figures.
In total, the study says, international students in the east of England generate £1.34bn - with, at the time of the study, 14,365 first-year international students in the region.
It says the financial benefits are 10 times greater than the costs.