Subsidising international students

Interesting report from HEPI on the economic costs and benefits of international students.

The basic argument is that international students benefit the UK economy hugely. It is therefore in the nation’s interest to have more of them and it is cost-effective to subsidise their studies (perhaps even offer almost free places as Germany does?) because of the pay back.

– where is the money to come from? This would cost of the order of £1.5B according to HEPI.
– isn’t it a bit perverse to start reducing fees for international students just as we are increasing them for Home ones? And would it not be a bit odd to shut down the nearest thing to a market which exists in UKHE given all of the variable fees rhetoric?
– why doesn’t every international student head for Germany? Is there perhaps a quality issue?
– can we really envisage a Government blank cheque here? Wouldn’t we just end up with a cap on ALL student number expansion?

So, what’s in it for universities?

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