Chinese Students Boost British Economy

03/02/2020

The number of Chinese students enrolled at British universities increased again in 2018-2019, showing that recruitment of Chinese students exceeded those from other countries.

Over the last five years the sector has seen an increase of 34% in Chinese students, now reaching an estimated 120,000. Since 2014-15 the number of Chinese students enrolled in the UK has risen from about 89,500. One-third of all non-EU students at British campuses are now from China, with the UK being the number-one overseas destination among Chinese students.

Currently Chinese students represent more than 10% of all revenue (worth around £1.7bn) at a number of universities in UK, the Times Higher Education (THE) has found. The government are keen to attract more Chinese students who pay fees two to three times higher, with their direct spending on tuition and living expenses contributing to an estimated £2.55 billion annually to the UK economy.

University of Liverpool are one of the most successful in the recruitment of Chinese students, which now provides almost one in five of its students. The sister city partnership between Liverpool and Shanghai has played a role in the attracting Chinese students. Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University runs degree courses which involve students coming to Liverpool for two years. In addition, the appealing culture of the city is greatly attractive to the international students.

Chris Skidmore, the universities minister for England, said the figures showed that the country’s institutions were able to attract students in a competitive international market.

“I am delighted to see a continued increase in both EU and non-EU students, and we want to grow the number of international students to 600,000 by 2030,” Skidmore said.

“Our universities thrive on being open, global institutions, which is why we’re allowing international students to remain in the UK for two-years post-graduation.”