2018 APPG Inquiry

APPG Inquiry: A sustainable future for international students in the UK?

The APPG for International Students Inquiry into the opportunities and challenges in building a sustainable future for international students in the UK was launched at a roundtable in Parliament on 3 July 2018.

The APPG hosted oral evidence sessions in July and September to hear detailed evidence from a range of experts from education, business, trade and local communities, as well as international students themselves.

The Inquiry also sought written evidence submissions from from universities, further education colleges, English language schools, independent schools, private education providers, businesses, education and business representative bodies, the devolved administrations, charities, international student recruitment agents, overseas embassies, researchers, students and graduates. 50 pieces of written evidence were received in total.

The final report from the Inquiry was published on 6 November 2018.


The terms of reference for the Inquiry were as follows:

In the classroom

What are the educational opportunities and challenges of welcoming international students into our schools, colleges and universities?

Answers could include: impact on all students’ cultural understanding, global perspectives, impact on breadth of courses, additional resources needed, integrating UK and international students, impact and cost of immigration compliance.

In our communities

What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating international students and their dependants into local communities? Do international students differ from other migrant or visitor communities in this regard?

Answers could include: impact on school education, transport, and housing; facilitating cultural diversity and international dialogue in the local community; co-production of social initiatives between community and education institutions; perception of international students as migrants by the community.

For our regions and nations

According to a recent report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) there are over three times as many higher education international students London and the South East than any other region of the UK[1]. Is this regional tilt similar for international students in other levels of education and if so, what would be the challenges and opportunities of achieving a greater balance of international students in regions across the UK?

What are the costs and benefits of international students participating in the regional and national labour market and how could we ensure they have a sustainable role in supporting and building local or skilled industry post-study?

Answers could include: impact of UK-wide approach to immigration, working during study, work experience and internships, entrepreneurship and starting businesses in the UK and greater post study work visa options.

For research, trade and soft power

What role do international students play in increasing global research capabilities, trade links and soft power for the UK and what strategies could be implemented to support this further?

The inquiry will take evidence from a range of expert stakeholders including: international students; school, college, and university leaders; education, business and local community representatives; government; and researchers.