Spain: int’l students generate €3.8bn annually

Published 22/02/2021

The enrolment of international students in Spain generates €3.8 billion annually, and for every euro students spend on academic programs, they spend an additional €1.27 on restaurants, food, clothing, transport and travel, research has revealed.

International students enrolled in undergraduate and master’s programs represented 65% of the economic impact of Spanish export educational services, according to the report from the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, ICEX.

Across degree-seeking students, Erasmus and study abroad participants, K-12 pupils, Cervantes Institute students and language students, some 1,044,898 international students were enrolled in Spanish institutions in the academic year 2018/19.

Enrolment in Spanish language programs accounted for 47% of the total, while the country is also the most popular destination for Erasmus students.

“In addition to the economic results collected in the study, it should be taken into account other intangible long-term benefits derived from international mobility in our classrooms,” said Xiana Méndez, secretary of state for commerce.

“When a student comes to Spain to train, they experience our culture and build close, invisible ties with our country that last a lifetime. Thus, these international students, who will become great professionals, will always see in our country an opportunity to realise investments, build collaborative partnerships and be promoters of Spain.”

Despite Covid-19 stifling much mobility for language students and Erasmus and study abroad participants, efforts are however continuing to attract international students into higher education.

The Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE) hosted the fifth edition of its Estudiar en España event for students in Morocco this month, holding the event virtually for the first time. Run in collaboration with the Education Department of the Spanish Embassy in Morocco and the Cervantes Institute, 25 universities and 4,000 students took part.

“Without any doubt, we could say that Morocco is one of the key students markets for us”

“Year after year, there is an increasing interest among Moroccan university students in Spain and its higher education institutions. Without any doubt, we could say that Morocco is one of the key students markets for us,” a SEPIE spokesperson told The PIE News.

“During the 2018/19 academic year, our higher education institutions welcomed 5,723 Moroccan students, of which 97% (5,557) were registered students (1,740 non-residents).”

Study.EU noted that around 2% of interest in Spain on its site comes from Morocco, with the greatest amount of traffic coming from India, the US, Pakistan, Nigeria and the UK.

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