Education generates billions for UK economy

The latest figures show that education generated almost £20bn for the UK in 2016 through exports such as international students and English language training. GOV.UK reports.

The figures, which include income from international students and English language training overseas, are growing year-on-year to an estimated £19.9bn in 2016 and an increase of 26% since 2010 – generating significant revenue for the UK, alongside other well-known exports such as automobiles, advertising and insurance.

International exports adding a significant contribution to the economy include:

  • Higher education – £13.4bn
  • Transnational education (TNE) – £1.9bn
  • Education products and services – £1.9bn
  • English Language Training Courses – £1.6bn
  • Independent schools – £0.9bn

This follows the Education Secretary’s speech at the Education World Forum on this week, welcoming education ministers from across the globe to work with the UK as a world-leader in the education sector.

The statistics out today show an increase in education-related equipment, including digital technology, building on the Education Secretary’s call on Wednesday (23 January) for the tech industry and education sector to make smarter use of technology to reduce teachers’ workload at the Bett Show in London.

Education has long been one of the UK’s most attractive offers for export, with English being the language of business and a central global language. The most recent data shows the UK is the most popular destination for English Language Training making up around 45% of the total market.

Minister for Investment Graham Stuart said: “This is another record year for education exports. More and more students are coming to the UK to study and our immigration changes will make the UK even friendlier as a place to study and work. From education technology to British curricula and assessment we have what the world is looking for in education.”

International higher education students make a significant contribution to the UK and our world-class HE sector, both economically and culturally.  The latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show the number of international students starting courses at UK higher education institutions in 2017/18 are the highest on record, with a 5% from the previous year.

These students, both EU and non-EU, contributed an estimated £11.9bn to the UK economy in tuition fees and living expenditure in 2016.

Read more Education generates billions for UK economy

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