International students could be worth £58 million to Leicester, new DMU research suggests

International students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) could be worth more than £58 million a year to the Leicester economy, new research shows.

A study carried out by experts from the Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) examined the ways in which students travelling from outside the EU to the Leicester campus contributed to the local area.


Using a sample of the 2,497 international students enrolled to study full-time at DMU in the 2016/17 academic year, researchers looked at three key economic areas to which those students contributed financially.

They considered the direct costs of tuition fees, accommodation, communication (such as mobile phones, etc), leisure pursuits, food, drink, clothes and transport.

They also factored in spending on travel and tourism and looked further at knock-on effects, such as the visitation of family and friends to the UK and the effects of direct expenditure as it works through the Leicester economy.


The report, led by Dr Rachel Granger, reader in creative industries management at LCBS, concluded that, on average, each international student generated £26,214 in the UK economy, with at least £23,593 of this working through the Leicester economy.

Professor Dana Brown, Principal of LCBS, said: “In addition the indisputably positive economic impact of international students, they also make an invaluable contribution to the intellectual and social experience at our universities.” 

The news comes the day after the publication of a report from the Office of National Statistics which showed the number of international students overstaying their visa was far below previous estimates.

The figures suggest only around 4,600 international students stayed longer than their visa permitted, far below original estimates of around 90,000.


The revelation was welcomed by DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard who said he hoped the new data would lead to “swift policy change” on the rights of international students to study in the UK.

He said: “We are proud to welcome international students from over 140 nationalities here at DMU. They make a huge educational and cultural contribution to our student community, our city and our county and help all of our students become more employable.

“The disclosure of this report has made me more determined to redouble our efforts to ensure goals of our #LoveInternational campaign are realised and to broaden, still further, the reach of our outstanding international mobility scheme, #DMUglobal.”

DMU’s #LoveInternational campaign was launched after the EU referendum and aims to maintain and expand the work the university does across the world, securing the rights of its international staff and students.

While the university’s award-winning #DMUGlobal programme gives each student the chance for an international academic experience and has seen thousands of students fly to destinations across the world to enhance their studies.

Posted on Friday 25th August 2017

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