UK announces new international strategy with a goal to host 600,000 students by 2030

  • Under a newly announced strategy, the UK aims to attract 600,000 international students by 2030, and to greatly increase the value of its education exports
  • Undergraduate and master’s students may stay for up to six months after graduating to work
  • However, the success of the strategy may hinge on further immigration reforms

The United Kingdom has a new International Education Strategy, announced this past weekend by the Department of Education and the Department for International Trade. The strategy, which was created in consultation with stakeholders across the educational spectrum, includes two ambitious targets for 2030, as well as a policy change regarding international students’ ability to work after graduating. The targets for 2030 are:

  1. To nearly double the value of education exports to £35 billion (US$46 billion), which will require an average annual growth rate of 4% through 2030;
  2. To increase the number of international students to 600,000, substantially more than the roughly 460,000 enrolled now in British higher education.

The policy change is that all undergraduate and master’s degree students will be given unrestricted post-study work rights for six months, with doctoral students able to work for 12 months after graduating. Currently, all international graduates are permitted to stay on to work for four months, with PhD graduates able to apply for an additional year. In addition, the government notes,

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