Leicestershire’s universities and local leaders are working together to boost the regional economy by attracting more international students to study in the county.
International higher education partners from across the world will gather in Leicester, in October, to hear first-hand from regional leaders about why the county is one of the most attractive destinations for international students in the country.
Across a busy week of events, agents who help connect international students to UK universities will be meet local leaders and be shown first-hand the social, economic and historical strengths of the region.
As one of the UK’s most diverse cities – according to the most recent Census – Leicester offers a home-from-home for students from across the world. A point that will be emphasised by civic leaders during the programme of activities.
Leicester City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “Leicester is a city with 2,000 years of rich history, but also has one of the youngest populations in the country. Surveys consistently show that students love their experience of being here.
“Leicester is diverse, has a fantastic leisure and cultural offer and lots of opportunities for students to get engaged with local communities and businesses. We are also renowned for the warm welcome we give to people from all around the world, and that welcome is certainly extended to international students.”
Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “Leicestershire has a thriving economy and is at the heart of innovative industries. Home to globally-renowned companies and leading the way in many sectors, including green technology, logistics and advanced manufacturing, the county is a great location for students to study and pursue their careers.”
Leicestershire’s economy receives an annual boost of £100m* from international students at the University of Leicester, Loughborough University and De Montfort University. The positive impact of more than 14,000 overseas students living, studying, spending, and working in the region, also supports 1,200 full-time jobs in the wider region.
The Universities Partnership International programme is a flagship project of the Universities Partnership – a civic agreement signed in July 2022 by the three universities and local authorities, to work together to support the region and grow the economy.
It is the first time the three universities and local council leaders have worked together on a unified programme to promote the region as a hub for international education. It supports national efforts for the UK to enhance its reputation for international education.
Harry Anderson, Assistant Director (Policy & Global Engagement) at Universities UK International, said: “The benefits that international students bring to the UK are clear. They enrich our local communities and university campuses, strengthen partnerships abroad, and contribute over £37 billion per year to the economy – the benefits of which are felt across the length and breadth of the UK’s regions and nations. We should be proud that our universities continue to attract international students from all over the world, and continue to work together to maintain our position as a leading destination for international students.”
The programme, which runs from Monday 9 to Friday 13 October, will showcase Leicestershire as a prime destination for international students.
A key aspect of the programme will be a special welcome from the King’s representative in Leicestershire, Lord Lieutenant, Mike Kapur.
Mr Kapur said: “Our city and county are characterised by a rich tapestry of cultures coming together to make our region such a welcoming place to live, and we embrace the contributions that international students can add to our city.”
During the week, delegations from around the world will visit each university and speak to local civic leaders to find out more about the benefits for overseas students studying in the county
The authorities which complete the Universities Partnership are Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Rutland County Council, and Charnwood Borough Council.