A recent report from Universities Wales has shown that for a small country, higher education in Wales packs a lot of punch in terms of economic benefit and attracting global talent.

The report offers an analysis of the contribution made from both EU and Non-EU students into the Welsh economy during the academic and financial year 2013/14. The study considers all eight of the country’s universities and examines the impact of foreign student spending on the economy and its generation of jobs, output and Welsh GVA (Gross Value Added).

Overall, the report has highlighted just how important international education is for the region’s economy. In 2014 alone, international students contributed £530 million in export earnings, which led to the creation of 7,600 full-time equivalent jobs in Wales. While the majority of the impact was felt in university towns and cities, the report showed that jobs were generated across the whole country.

Via HESA Students in Higher Education 2013/14.

Last year, according to the report, almost one in five students in Wales hailed from overseas. One Welsh job was created for every three Non-EU students who came to study in the country, and another one was created by every five students who came to study from Europe.

Of the 25,605 students enrolled from 145 countries in 2013/14, almost half derived from various regions of Asia. Altogether, international students represented 19 percent of the total student population in Wales.

According to the study, these international students and their visitors generated £773 million of output in industry across the entire country. Each Non-EU student contributed £33k to this output, while their European counterparts supplied £19.7k.

Via HESA Students in Higher Education 2013/14.

Welsh Education Minister, Huw Lewis, says: “This report really does show the genuine value that the higher education sector brings to our economy and it only serves to emphasise the importance of building, fostering and developing strong links with higher education institutions from across the world.”

Universities Wales are now able to use these findings to demonstrate how economic impact seeps into areas that do not boast a university through what they have labelled “ripple effects”.

The study notes that £89 million of GVA was generated in parts of Wales that don’t have a university, creating 1,756 jobs, almost 23 percent of the total jobs created.

Via HESA Students in Higher Education 2013/14.

Jenny Scott, Director at British Council Wales, commented, “Higher education is one of Wales’ most valuable cultural assets and the growing population of international students at our world class universities is helping Wales build lasting friendships with the rest of the world.

“As this timely report demonstrates, the huge cultural value of international student mobility is matched by the economic value such students and their families bring to communities right across Wales.”

In an effort to boost international student mobility and promote the Welsh education to important markets overseas, a new partnership has been formed to forge global networks and plan collaborative ventures. The alliance, dubbed Global Wales, is made up of Universities Wales, the Welsh Government, British Council Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

Image via Pexels.

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