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Inefficient markets

So many overseas students are choosing to study in Britain that higher education is now one of our major exports. Plus, do soaring commodity prices presage inflation?

By Michael Prest   August 2007

Dons are the new demon exporters

Improbable as it may seem, Britain’s economy has a new hero—its higher education institutions (HEIs). In recent years, the number of overseas students studying here has risen to the point where the higher education sector is a major exporter, outstripping even the fashionable cultural and media industries. The development vividly illustrates how the economy is changing and, in particular, the increasing importance of knowledge-based services.

A new paper by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) in Oxford tells the story. In 1992 there were only 95,900 full-time international students studying in Britain. Numbers began…

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