Revealed: UoM relies on international students for nearly a third of its income

‘It’s really unfair, and kind of xenophobic’


Tuition fees from international students made up over 29 per cent of University of Manchester’s income in the academic year of 2021-22, more than they received from UK students.

The University of Manchester released documents summarising its 2021/22 finances on Thursday, showing its income had increased by 10.6 per cent from the previous year, to £1.2 billion.

52 per cent of UoM’s total income came from tuition fees, with fees from international students making up over half of this, despite international students only accounting for 33.6 per cent of the student population.

Universities in the UK are not permitted to charge a fee above £9,250 for UK undergraduate students but each university sets its own fees for international students.

Nancy Rothwell, the uni’s Vice-Chancellor, has argued that the £9,250 cap on UK tuition fees isn’t sustainable, as inflation means the fees have less buying power than they did a decade ago.

UoM has compensated for the devaluation of UK tuition fees by hiking up fees for international students.

The Tab Manchester reported in 2019 that international students studying English literature were charged £19,500 per year.

As it stands, a prospective international student for 2022 would be looking to pay £21,500 per year for an English literature degree, a 10.3 per cent increase from just three years earlier.


Sara, a Brazilian student studying MA Human Rights, told The Tab Manchester: “I feel it’s really unfair, and kind of xenophobic, that the tuition fees for international students are double the price than for UK students.

“We have the same access to materials and professors as UK students but it’s harder to get loans and we have fewer scholarship opportunities so I find it hard to justify the difference.

“The cost of living crisis is hugely affecting me. I made plans of moving here long ago and did lots of research to find out how much it would cost. However, bills have gone up and, on top of the high tuition fees, everything is so much more expensive than it should be.”

UoM admits that it is limited in the help it can provide to international students in this crisis.

Even so, it continues to hike international tuition fees while making millions in excess income.


Ananya, an international student studying BSc Molecular Biology, told The Manchester Tab: “The fees have become extraordinarily high. Fortunately, my parents had the resources to afford my education but it has taken quite a toll on them.

“They’ve been doing their best to send me what’s required and I’ve been trying to save up. The currency exchange rate is now very high though, so that’s another thing I have to be mindful of.

“I always have to think twice before even buying the necessities but I do hope it becomes better soon.”

International students have told The Tab Manchester that the recent grant achieved by the SU will be helpful in the coming weeks, but £170 handouts will barely scratch the surface of a 10 per cent increase on tuition fees.

A spokesperson for Manchester University told the Tab Manchester:

“International students are greatly valued by our University, the city of Manchester and the UK and are highly sought after by employers across the world. They bring rich diversity, widening the university experience of other students in what is already a city where up to 200 languages are spoken and enrich our alumni community of over 500,000 around the world.

“We are not permitted to charge a fee above £9,250 for UK undergraduate students, but each university set its own fees for international students each year. This is based on consideration of costs, relative market pricing and demand – in some areas we are very heavily oversubscribed and from high quality students. We have other measures in place to support international applicants who could not afford to pay higher fees – though we recognise that this support is limited.

“We fully recognise the financial impact of international fees on top of other costs such as travel and visas, which UK students do not have to pay, and that there are only a very limited number of scholarships. We have a Cost of Living Support Fund for any student who is struggling, irrespective of whether they are UK or international. International students can also access, free of charge, our counselling and mental health support services.

Learn more about being an international student at Manchester.”

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