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Oxford’s exports contribute £732m to UK economy

Oxford contributed £15bn to the UK economy in 2019. Photo: iStock

The majority of the impact on the economy by international student expenditures was in the South East at 63%

Of that £15.7bn, the report by the economic research consultancy said that the total direct, indirect and induced impact of educational exports on the UK economy was a staggering £732m.

The institution is attracting “many international students”, as its higher education offering is a “tradable activity with important and exports like any other tradable sector”, the report suggested.

The report comes after international students in the UK were found to contribute £28.8bn to the economy yearly.

The figure for Oxford was based on £393m being associated with international students’ tuition fees, while the other £340m was associated with their non-tuition fee expenditure while they studied at Oxford during that year.

In the 2018-19 academic year, 4,345 Oxford students beginning their studies hailed from outside the UK  –an overwhelming 74% from outside the EU, and 26% from the EU.

“As we continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and carve out our position in a post-Brexit world, it serves as a reminder of the growing role of universities in our country’s future”, said pro-vice-chancellor for Research, Patrick Grant.

The institutions research and knowledge exchange activities had an impact of almost £8bn, one of many figures which showed the value, according to the university’s vice-chancellor, of its impact is on the country’s economy.

“While these figures represent only one way of considering the ultimately inestimable value of what we do, they are a raw index of the power of our work,” said Louise Richardson.

“[Our work] as researchers, teachers and communicators…benefits society locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

“These figures represent only one way of considering the ultimately inestimable value of what we do”

Looking at the report’s breakdown by region, the majority of the impact on the economy by international student expenditures was in the South East at 63%, with the remaining 36% spread across the UK.

The report went on to say that in terms of sector, both tuition fee and non-tuition fee income “generated particularly large impacts” in the government, health and education sector.

On the university’s research activities’ impact, Grant added, “This analysis provides compelling evidence that our research-intensive universities are key contributors to the prosperity of the UK.”

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