(The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)
The UK’s reputation for delivering an outstanding quality of education is one of the top reasons why Indian students choose to study there, but the safety and hospitality of the country, along with the opportunity to experience a different culture and language feature highly in their decision. And whilst the UK is an attractive destination for international students, and indeed those from India, universities in the UK are also interested in having these students - but not necessarily for the reasons you might think.
HEPI research highlights contribution of international students
Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) in the UK shone a spotlight on the significance of international students to the UK economy - each year’s intake of incoming international students was estimated to be worth £28.8 billion to the UK economy. But it’s not just about money. For UK universities, having a diverse student community enriches the experience for all involved and it's one of the things that we are most proud of. With over 30,000 students from more than 150 countries, including a high proportion of Indian students, the impact on our university - and indeed - our city cannot be underestimated.
Sheffield, for example, is home to two universities and as a city has grown to provide its student population with everything they need, and in doing so, has created the need for local businesses and jobs. Our economic impact assessment, based on the 2018/2019 student cohort, found that our international students supported the creation of 3,060 jobs in the region.
Dr. Malcolm Butler |
International students add a lot of value to UK universities
Whilst studying in the UK, international students immerse themselves in their new communities and give back however they can. Our students undertake volunteering with local organisations and community groups, they seek work opportunities to build friendships and professional networks for themselves alongside their study schedules. They frequently tell us they gain valuable skills for their CVs through this work, get to know more about our city, culture, and values, and talk with pride about becoming part of our community.
Nothing makes the Universities more proud than to see their students excel in their studies and lives. Some students decide to continue their academic careers and pursue master's or research degrees with us, others return home and extol the benefits of their time spent with us, and a growing number take advantage of the Graduate Immigration Route to stay and work in the UK after graduating. In all of these ways, students continue to have an impact on our University and are part of a network of global alumni who will always think fondly of the UK as their second home.
The crucial role our Indian students play as part of our student, city, and UK communities whilst with us will never be understated at the University of Sheffield. Ten years ago we created the #WeAreInternational campaign to celebrate the impact of international students on our community and it was quickly supported by 160 other UK universities, education institutions, and international organisations.
Dr. Malcolm Butler, Vice-President and Director of Global Engagement at the University of Sheffield, UK.
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