North East gets £82m boost from EU students

08 April 2016

The North East of England gets a £82m and 770 jobs boost from EU students.

EU students at universities in the North East of England generate £82m for the region’s economy and support 770 jobs, according to analysis from Universities UK.

Universities in the region are Durham University, Newcastle University and Northumbria University Sunderland University and Teesside University.

The new analysis looks at the impact of EU students across all regions and nations of the UK. Currently there are around 125,000 students from other EU countries studying at UK universities, representing 5% of the total UK student population [the top 5 EU countries sending students to the UK are: Germany (13,675 students), France (11,955), Ireland (10,905), Italy (10,525) and Greece (10,130)].

The evidence shows that in the North East of England:

  • EU students contributed £34.2m for the regional economy through spending on-campus (money paid directly to universities in fees and costs)
  • They also contributed £47.8m for the regional economy through spending on goods and services off-campus (such as food, rent, going out etc.)
  • This combined (on-campus and off-campus) expenditure generated a total of £82m for the region’s economy
  • Through their on-campus expenditure (supporting 394 jobs) and spending off-campus (supporting 376 jobs), EU students supported or created a total of 770 (FTE) jobs in the region
  • Across the UK, EU students at UK universities generate a total of £3.7bn for the UK economy and support over 34,000 jobs.

Commenting on the figures, Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: “EU students make an enormous contribution to British university life and local communities. The figures show clearly that EU students spend money and create jobs in all regions and corners of the UK. EU students also make a very important academic and cultural contribution to university life, creating an international, outward-looking culture on campuses which, in turn, benefits UK students.

“Leaving the EU and putting up barriers to work and study makes it more likely that European students and researchers will choose to go elsewhere, strengthening our competitors and weakening the UK’s universities.”

In light of these new figures, Professor Stuart Corbridge, the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University said: ‘Today’s figures reveal that the university and the city and wider North East region have benefited enormously from the EU students who come to study here. I am proud that students from across Europe choose to study at Durham University. They make an enormous contribution to academic life and to the student experience, and they support our economy by boosting regional growth and creating jobs for local people. Additionally, Durham has agreements with institutions in 23 European countries through the Erasmus+ programme which means that Durham students are able to benefit from invaluable international experience which enhances their employability prospects”.

Do you think the North East needs its own voice in the EU exit negotiations?

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