London Higher calls for the establishment of a dedicated International Education Champion for London

London Higher calls for the establishment of a dedicated International Education Champion for London 

The newly published International Education Strategy for London on Wednesday 12 October has called for the establishment of a dedicated International Education Champion for London to support the UK International Education Champion in his mission to deliver on the next phase of increasing the UK’s international education exports, among other recommendations. 

In the context of the extraordinarily diverse and highly-ranked higher education landscape in London, the Strategy aims to provide different stakeholders with recommendations on how to work together in order to maximise London’s pulling power in the international education market, contributing to the growth of the entire UK economy. 

The Strategy focuses in particular on different provider types and important regional nuances, which are also reflected in the recommendations. Of the UK Government, in addition to an International Education Champion for London, the Strategy asks for the piloting of a new single pathway student visa and targeted, regional-specific information, advice and guidance for international postgraduate students.  

Of the Mayor of London, the Strategy asks for the urgent addition of potential research security risks to the London Risk Register, the creation of a London-wide kitemark for international education pathway providers, a commitment to ensuring London’s purpose-built student accommodation remains accessible to international students and finally, dedicated resource within the GLA to work on campaigns which not only promote the city and its opportunities specifically to international students. 

Of London higher education institutions, the Strategy asks for greater transparency and provision of up-to-date information about the true costs of living in the capital, a commitment to the strategic use of global alumni networks, and innovative thinking around TNE provision among others. 

In recognition of the full diversity of HEIs in London, the Strategy also contains some recommendations based on different provider-types, divided into four pathways: Large, research-intensive institutions; Modern, technical, vocational and professional universities; London’s specialist arts institutions; London’s specialist science institutions. 

All of the recommendations in the report have a strong focus on growth: increasing the UK’s education exports, improving London’s R&D capabilities and ensuring the transparency of information available to prospective international students and staff. 


Diana Beech, Chief Executive Officer of London Higher said:  

“London often acts as a gateway to international students and researchers wanting to engage with British higher education and is home to a diverse range of globally renowned higher education institutions.  

At London Higher, we have worked hard to provide a strategy that will complement the national International Education Strategy and will ensure that our capital keeps delivering for the growth of the country.   

We want to work with the government and our closest stakeholders to maintain the UK’s global competitiveness and attractiveness to international education markets through the advantages that London’s higher education sector has to offer, for the benefit of the entire nation.”  


Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice-Chancellor & President at University of East London, and Chair of the London Higher board said:  

“As global competition continues to increase, we must ensure that the UK’s competitive advantage is maintained, and the International Education Strategy for London demonstrates a variety of ways this can be done through using the capital’s reputation and links to business. London has a globally renowned, world-class education offer and a significant presence in international markets which will strengthen and support the ambitions of the UK-wide International Education Strategy.  

The International Education Strategy for London provides a clear commitment to increasing London’s global appeal and is a good foundation for starting a discussion on how we can harness the power of the different regions to deliver on the UK’s ambitions to reach £35 billion in education exports by 2030.”  


Jo Johnson, former Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said:  

“The International Education Strategy for London demonstrates the immense value that our capital’s higher education sector holds for the whole nation. We must heed its recommendations to ensure that London’s higher education institutions can continue to provide considerable benefits to the growth of the UK economy.   

The recommendation for piloting a new single pathway student visa is particularly important to making the UK and its capital even more attractive to international students, opening the door for them to experience our world-leading universities and progress more easily onto postgraduate study and research.” 


Gareth Bacon MP, Chair of APPG for London as a Global City said: 

“Attracting and retaining a pipeline of international talent is vital to London’s success, given its education sector generates £12 billion GDP. 

London Higher’s visa pilot scheme suggestion could help to exceed the 600,000 International Education Strategy target. As the APPG for London as a Global City set out in its report, there are grounds to consider expanding the Turing Scheme for such purposes. 

Guidance to enhance the conversion of postgraduate researchers to London’s R&D, which helps to drive foreign direct investment to the UK, would also help the capital to remain competitive against other global city rivals.” 


Professor Mary Stiasny OBE and Nina Davies, Chairs of London Higher’s International Network said: 

“The International Education Strategy for London provides an important framework for how the UK Government, the London Mayor’s Office and London higher education institutions can all work together to maintain and build upon London’s reputation as the world’s top study destination.  

As Chairs of London Higher’s International Network, it has been fantastic to convene colleagues from across the membership to collaborate on work around the internationalisation of higher education in London over the past year and we’re pleased to see these discussions and expertise reflected in the Strategy. We look forward to working with colleagues across the London Higher International Network to realise the ambitions within the Strategy and to continue to promote London as a global hub for international education.” 


Ruth Arnold, Senior Advisor to international education specialists Study Group and cofounder of the #WeAreInternational campaign said: 

“I warmly welcome the International Education Strategy for London and its commitment to making the capital an even more attractive and welcoming destination for students from around the world. From the Arts to Sciences, from major global universities to specialist institutions renowned across the globe, London is diverse, exciting and an extraordinary magnet for talent.  

“International students in turn help shape the capital for good in a thousand ways. This Strategy considers how to honour the courage and efforts of international students, making focused recommendations about how government, higher education and the city itself can do even better by them. It’s a challenge to us all and a powerful step in the right direction. And it’s only right that it’s London leading the way.” 


Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said:  

“London has established a well-earned reputation as one of the best places to study in the world and we are delighted that London Higher is launching its International Education Strategy for London. As the engine room of the UK, our capital city has a vital role to play in increasing the UK’s education exports and the introduction of this strategy will further enhance London’s appeal on the international stage as the preeminent global city in which to live and study. Collaboration will be integral to the success of the strategy and LCCI looks forward to working closely with the Mayor of London, and alongside London Higher and the Government, to create a London-wide kitemark which will ensure international students are able to recognise and access reputable pathway providers in London and succeed on their education journeys.” 



  1. The full report can be read on the London Higher website: 
  2. The report was supported by London Higher’s International Network 
  3. London Higher will officially launch the report at its annual event on the evening of 12 October, 2022. 
  4. London Higher is the representative body for over 40 universities and higher education colleges across the capital. We are committed to raising the voice of London’s higher education and research sector and ensuring our members are making the London higher education experience the best it can be for students and staff from around the world.