A Freedom of Information request by Palatinate shows that the University has nearly doubled its income from international students in the last five academic years, compared to an increase of around 11% from students from the UK and EU.
In the 2015-16 academic year, the University collected £54.7 million from international students, compared to £101.7 million in the 2019-20 academic year.
In total, the University collected almost £62 million more from tuition fees in 2019-20 than in 2015-16.
This partly reflects larger fees charged to international students. While UK students enrolled are charged £9,250 for full time undergraduate tuition fees annually, EU and international students fees vary depending on the subject.
Fees are set according to three bands: band one includes all humanities, as well as Sport, Sociology, Maths and Business; band two includes most sciences except Maths; while band three covers most social sciences.
For a full time course in Eeronautical Engineering, international students will be charged £27,350 per year from 2020-21, while for Business and Management, one of the University’s most popular courses, students will have to foot an annual bill of £22,900.
However the increase in tuition fee income also reflects the University’s strategy to increase the proportion of international students at Durham.
As part of Durham’s 10 year plan, the University’s vision for a ‘Global Durham’ stipulates the ambition to increase international students from 22% of its intake to a minimum of 35%.
These proportional increases are on top of the University’s broader initiative to increase Durham’s student numbers from 17,500 to a maximum of 21,500 by 2027.
In the 2019-20 academic year, oversees students made up 64% of the Business School’s intake, compared to 23% of social science students, 10% of humanities students, and 15% of science students.
Professor Claire O’Malley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) told Palatinate: “Our University Strategy aims to increase the proportion of non-UK students studying at Durham to 39% by 2027. We want Durham to be a globally networked university, recognised around the world as an outstanding place to study and work and a significant contributor to international research and innovation agendas.
“The experience of international students plays a key role in the development of universities’ reputation internationally and serves to build a virtuous circle to continue to attract and grow future cohorts of international students. The University’s ambitions to grow its international student body also has a positive impact on the experience of UK students. We will therefore make every effort to ensure a diversity of students in terms of nationality, ethnicity, faith as well as socio-economic background.
“We deliver an exceptional quality of education for all our students, and need to ensure the financial viability of delivering these programmes. The fees we set allow us to invest in our students, staff and campus to maintain our global reputation for excellence, whilst securing the financial sustainability of the University.”
Image: Amana Moore