BRITAIN cannot take its attractiveness as a destination for international students “for granted” following a sharp fall in EU students after Brexit, a report warns.

The total economic benefits of just one year’s intake of incoming international students to the UK economy is estimated to be approximately £28.8 billion, according to an analysis.

The report, by Universities UK International (UUKi) and Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), suggests that every parliamentary constituency in the UK benefits financially from international students.

It comes as international student numbers at UK universities have been affected by the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and changes to the tuition fee structure for European Union (EU) students after Brexit.

The number of EU students ­accepted onto undergraduate degree courses is 56% lower this year than at the same time last year, while non-EU international students are up 5%, the latest Ucas data suggests.

The report suggests that the UK’s exit from the EU has “severely affected” EU student recruitment, adding that “the UK cannot take its attractiveness as a study destination for international students for granted”.

UUKi, which represents more than 140 UK higher education institutions globally, and think tank Hepi are calling for more to be done to promote the UK as a welcoming, diverse and accessible study destination.

This could include reducing the ­financial barriers for international students, supporting the improvement of English language ability or ensuring the success of the new Graduate route. Nick Hillman, director of Hepi, said: “This report confirms higher education is one of the UK’s greatest export earners. The benefits reach every part of the UK.

“But international students do not just bring financial benefits. They also bring educational benefits by making our campuses more diverse and exciting places to be.

“To make the most of these benefits, we need to provide a warm welcome, ensure our educational offer remains competitive and help international students secure fulfilling careers after study.”