Education exports worth £28 billion

From the Guardian

This total, which dates back to 2003-04, shows that education is worth more to UK exports than financial services or the car industry, according to a British Council report.

The Guardian, which also has links to the report, observes:

A total of £28bn in 2003-04 was earned from overseas students by a sector ranging from world famous universities to small English language colleges, from independent schools to publishers and broadcasters. The success of British universities in attracting overseas students against strong competition from the US, Australia and, increasingly, Europe has been celebrated but there are concerns that institutions are becoming too dependent on a changeable overseas market. Overseas student fees are worth more than £2bn to UK universities – compared with the £6bn the latter receive from the government for teaching and research.

But there is a sting in the tail:

Next month a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute will warn that dissatisfaction among overseas students about poor value for money poses a threat. However i-graduate, which carries out opinion surveys of international students for universities, said yesterday that 85% of those questioned would recommend a British degree to others.

Grounds for concern there then but overall just a staggering amount of money and an outstanding success story.

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