Keeping our capital working for the UK

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Our report with London First, was the first to quantify the economic benefits of student migration. We need more hard data like this to inform immigration policies and targets. The £2.3bn benefit of international students illustrates there is a huge amount at stake.

Julia Onslow Cole
Partner, Global Head of Immigration & Legal Markets Leader, PwC

We’ve laid out the facts on London’s migrant workforce, in our unique evidence base with PwC.  London’s overseas talent is of huge value to the UK, generating £30bn additional GVA each year.

The UK must give a clear message that it is ‘open for business’, and our aim is is to ensure government lands a fair and managed immigration system that keeps the door open to the skills business needs.

Armed with the evidence, we’ve consulted with over 200 of London’s leading businesses to shape our post-Brexit immigration proposal.

More immediately we’re pressing government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK and remove international students from migration figures, and the associated restrictions.

We’ll be pushing for government to implement this as it resets the immigration agenda. Read more in our response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s consultation.

International Students

Our recent submission to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Call for Evidence on international students, highlights the significant economic benefits they bring to London and the UK. 


    • London’s international students bring a net benefit of £2.3 billion per annum to our economy
    • International students support nearly 70,000 jobs in London with their spending
    • They boost our international soft power. 60% of students including alumni said they are more likely to do business with the UK as a result of having studied here

Students must be welcomed and recognised as temporary visitors and not migrants, and it should be easier for students to use their skills and work in the UK after they complete their studies. That is why London First advocates for the two-year post-study work visa to be reinstated. This would make the UK more competitive as it seeks to make the best of Brexit.

Our MAC consultation response pulls evidence from London First and PwC’s report London Calling: International students’ contribution to Britain’s economic growth.  The report concludes that the capital’s higher education system is an export success story, with 92 per cent of students saying they would recommend studying in the UK to their friends and family.

It dismisses the myth that international students are a burden on public services, such as the NHS. Instead, they were shown to contribute a total of £2.8 billion through the spending they bring to the country, while only consuming £540 million in public spending.


Your contact

Contact Mark Hilton for further information


Download and read our publications on Immigration.

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