The number of overseas students coming to the UK has risen sharply in the last five years, according to a new report.
Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that the number increased by 32% in the five years to 2010.
There was a 6% increase in number of home students in the UK over the same time.Last year, there were just over 400,000 overseas students studying at universities in the UK.
At undergraduate level, the five years to 2010 saw a 5% rise in home students from the UK attending UK universities and a 27% increase in overseas students.
At postgraduate level, UK student numbers rose by nearly 9%, while those of overseas students increased by 37%.
Overseas students are highly prized by educational institutions because of the income they generate through higher fee structures than those imposed on domestic students.
Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union said: “This report highlights the importance of foreign students to UK universities and the economy.
“Our universities are consistently enriched by the students and academics that come to this country to study, carry out research and share their knowledge.
“Politicians must be very careful not to restrict academic access or make ill-judged comments that give the impression UK universities are closed for business.”
Posted by Nick Tellwright
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