International students contribute £3bn to West Midlands – report

26 May 2023

With the UK experiencing its biggest net migration boom on record, a new report has revealed the £42bn impact of international students to the UK economy, with £3bn generated in the West Midlands.

The joint report, released in partnership with Universities UK International, the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International with London Economics, is in its third iteration and was commissioned to explore the economic impact of international students on the UK economy.

University College Birmingham currently supports over 8,000 students from more than 90 countries, with 1,395 international students studying at the 2022 University of the Year.  

Known globally as the youngest city in Europe, Birmingham plays host to over 8,000 first-year students, with 41 per cent of graduates choosing to live and work within the city.

Jasmin Anwar joined the University in 2022 to study for her PGCE, having spent 14 years teaching students in her native India. 

“I loved teaching in India, but I’ve always wanted to explore the world and face new challenges. When I first told my family I wanted to study in England they were worried I’d get homesick, but I’ve had so much support from everyone at the University.

“I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of city life, it reminds me of being back home - but it is a lot colder!

Despite receiving a job offer to teach at a school in London, Jasmin is hoping to secure a position in the Midlands.

She added: “Birmingham has become my home. My husband and daughter joined me here last month. She’s really interested in mechanics and engineering, so she loves looking at all the construction work in the city. I can’t imagine a better place to live, work and study. I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity.”

Alice Wilby, pro-vice chancellor of Access, Participation and Student Experience at University College Birmingham said: "At University College Birmingham, we have a diverse student community, and supporting these students as they move from abroad is really important to us.

“That support starts from the moment they hit apply and continues long after graduation. It’s fantastic to see the impact international students are making not just on our economy, but on our people and culture too.”

She added: “At this year's Whatuni awards we were recognised as the best University for international students and came second in four other categories, which shows just how dedicated we are to giving students the best possible university experience.”

To read the full report, visit

search news articles
Event Gallery