International students bringing nearly £80m of economic benefits to Ceredigion and enriching its culture, new report says

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University

29 September 2021

Ceredigion’s economy has benefited from almost £80 million because of the impact of new international students, as well as the cultural and societal benefits that come from a more diverse population, a new report has found.

The Higher Education Policy Institute and Universities UK International’s report, The Costs and Benefits of International Higher Education Students to the UK Economy, written by the consultancy London Economics, broke down the economic benefits of first year international students attending universities across Wales and the wider UK.

For the 2018/19 academic year, a single first year student in Ceredigion boosted the economy by over £87,000. This was through a mix of tuition fee income, living costs and their spending in the wider economy, as well as money spent by friends and family while visiting.

However, the report said the value of international students should not just be measured in economic terms, noting that they are also a key contributor to a culturally richer society.

Within Aberystwyth, around a fifth of the University’s student body for the 2021/21 academic year is from overseas.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said: “A diverse university is a successful university. International students bring a richness to the Aberystwyth University experience through making friends, building relationships with staff and immersing themselves in the wider community.

“International students don’t just get a higher education experience; they learn about Wales and Welsh culture. Our students from Wales and the wider UK build upon their own cross-cultural skills so it’s win/win – we ultimately create more employable graduates with a broader mindset for the future.

“I have always been heartened by Aberystwyth University’s ability to build relationships across the globe. Our alumni have an affection for the town and for Wales that you don’t see at other universities. When they return to their home countries, they become ambassadors for Wales and the UK.”

The report tracked the last full academic year that was not disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also found that during the 2018/19 academic year, every 14 students from the European Union and every 10 non-EU students generate £1 million worth of net economic impact for the duration of their studies. Across Wales international students in the 2018/19 academic year brought a net economic benefit of £1.08bn.