Feb 5, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

International students contribute about $28 billion to the UK economy. Some of that is in Northern Ireland.

According to a recent report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), international students contribute £170 million or about $238.5 million to the Northern Ireland economy.

Interestingly, Northern Ireland has the lowest number of international students in any part of the UK, with South Belfast as the biggest destination for international students in the region.

The analysis, completed by London Economics and published by HEPI, looked at the economic benefits and associated costs of the 231,065 international students who started higher education in the UK in 2015.

It calculated the financial contribution of overseas students, including accommodation, living expenses, and tuition.

HEPI also looked at the economic breakdown of the economic impact of international students by parliamentary constituency.

Unsurprisingly, London saw the highest impact. Northern Ireland constituencies had the least economic impact of international students.

In an article on the BBC website,  Olivia Potter-Hughes, president of the National Union of Students – Union of Student in Ireland (NUS-USI) said, “We want to ensure that Northern Ireland and the UK is welcoming and attracts as many international and EU students as possible.”

She added, “International students must not be seen as cash cows and we are worried that international student fees could rise as a result of Brexit as these students may be cynically used to make up for any loss of EU research and other funding.”

Learn more about studying in Northern Ireland.  

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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