Overseas students generate Pounds 1 billion for the national economy, including Pounds 310 million in fees paid directly to British universities.
There are more than 100,000 international students in the United Kingdom, who spend at least Pounds 405 million directly on products or services, says a report published yesterday by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals.
The Economic Impact of International Students in UK Higher Education estimates the number of jobs sustained as a result of this spending at 35,000 to 53,000. It says the aggregate impact on gross domestic product is between Pounds 906 million and Pounds 1.2 billion.
However the report predicts an increasingly fierce battle in the global market to recruit large numbers of foreign students.
As the graph shows, overseas student numbers rose from 35,000 in 1973 to 59,000 in 1978. They fell back to 46,500 in 1983, once full fees were introduced by the Government, but since then numbers have doubled to 95,900 in 1992.