Government announcements on HEIF and student numbers

13 September 2012

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group of universities, said:

“This is a welcome cash injection into world-class universities which will help boost the UK’s economy - new ideas and inventions are the lifeblood of our society and economic growth. 

“We know that Government investment through the HEIF results in a six-fold return on investment and the return is greater where research intensity is greater. 

“So we are pleased the Government are making additional funding available to the highest performing institutions. Increasing funding to the most effective institutions will allow them to expand their innovation and knowledge transfer activity and help generate greater economic impacts.

“Academics at our research-intensive universities play a key role in generating truly innovative ideas and working alongside business and industry to make sure those ideas are exploited to their full potential - they more likely to have taken out a patent, licensed research to a company or formed a spin-out company than academics at other institutions.

“We also welcome the announcement of additional £3.8 million for the first academic research institute looking at cyber threats, which will help national security through cutting-edge research.

“We are pleased the Minister wants to make sure potential international students know the real picture and are very warmly welcomed in this country. As he says in his speech: ‘There are few sectors of our economy with the capacity to grow and generate export earnings as great as higher education.’ 

“Disaggregating the data on student numbers from immigration figures is a step in the right direction - we hope this heralds a move by the whole Government to use these improved statistics to recognise the social and economic benefits that international students bring, while still cracking down on abuses of the system. We also hope this heralds a move to take students out of the immigration target altogether.

“International higher education students contribute hugely to the academic strength of our universities and they are also worth at least £7.1 billion to the UK each year from their tuition fees and living expenditure alone. It is estimated that every 10 international students supports six UK jobs.”

Notes to Editors

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