Appreciating All That International Students Offer

The Value of International Students to the UK and Higher Education

London, UK

I recently engaged with Coventry University provost Ian Dunn’s insights shared during the latest Panorama broadcast on 25 March. I wholeheartedly echo his sentiment that international students contribute significantly to the UK and our Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Mr Dunn underscored the substantial education export income that international students generate for the UK economy, noting figures exceeding £40 billion in education exports. Concurrently, government statistics for 2021 estimate the revenue from education-related exports and transnational education activity at £27.9 billion.


In a previous article on navigating the financial challenges faced by HEIs, I emphasised the critical role that fees from international students play in bolstering our finances. However, not every aspiring student can access the opportunity to study in the UK’s prestigious institutions. At Regent Group, our commitment to technological advancement has led us to facilitate flexible study schedules, catering to the varied needs of students and thus expanding access and participation. Aligned with this endeavour, we are in the process of establishing new, digital universities to enable global students to engage with leading institutions.


As a Sri Lankan-born, proud British citizen and joint CEO of a global business based in London, Dubai, and New York, I concur with Mr Dunn that the value brought by international students extends far beyond financial contributions. The exchange of ideas among peers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives is invaluable. Uniting students worldwide, fostering mutual understanding and respect, represents one of the most significant contributions HEIs can make to both the UK and the global community.


Dr. Selva Pankaj