13 Dec 13.12.2017 Foreign students benefit UK’s economy and international relations
13.12.2017 Foreign students benefit UK’s economy and international relations
Students travel between countries who once viewed each other as enemies and find a new identity as they mix with peers from other lands. Young people from Serbia and Kosovo, Greece and Cyprus, Turkey and Albania study side by side, building long-term international connections. Some believed that WWI was not possible due to international connections made through trade. While globalization does not guarantee world peace, educational bonds can ensure that we trade on good terms.
In India, where half the population is under 25, there is huge demand for higher education, not met by the domestic universities. If the UK wants to trade with India, it must be ready to open its borders to India’s ambitious students. The freedom to trade and the movement of people are two sides of the same coin. Foreign students make substantial annual investments in the UK. And Theresa May’s refusal to exclude students from migration calculations, which caused the decrease in applications from EU students this year will have a substantial impact on the UK economy causing additional financial damage.
Chinese students constitute the largest proportion of international students in the UK. Chinese parents pay billions of pounds towards their kids’ education in the UK universities, their spending amounts to around 20% of the scholarships, staff salaries and investment in new teaching facilities, not to mention the cash spend on various English goods. A large amount of that money was generated manufacturing goods China has sold to the west.
Without international students domestic investment flows would shrink, availability of the variety of goods on the shelves would decrease and, assuming the UK government would not compensate for the loss in these fees, universities would face a devastating funding cut. The number of UK’s best global research teams would significantly decrease.
The UK significantly benefits from foreign students coming here. Therefore, young people should continue to be able to study in the UK and take their experience back to their own countries, becoming the UK’s friends and allies.