A Hendon-based university has praised the value international students bring to local communities.

Speaking about European Union and other overseas students, Middlesex University vice chancellor Tim Blackman urged the government to do more to support their contribution to the UK’s trade from London’s universities.

Last year Middlesex University spent over £2 million with suppliers in the Barnet area and its students spent almost £63 million in the Barnet economy, supporting over 1,200 jobs, or one job for every 15 students.

Prof Blackman said: “Middlesex is a highly successful London university and proud of the contribution international students make to our student experience.

“Our students thrive in a diverse cultural environment where as the global citizens of the future they learn from each other as well as from their lecturers.

“The 140 different nationalities at our Hendon campus create an environment in which our students develop cross-national friendships and networks as well as the intercultural skills and global outlook that many companies are seeking from their graduate employees.”

He also said universities are part of the answer to tackling the UK’s trade deficit and international students are visitors who bring valuable business and influence in the world.

The UK is the second-most popular destination for international students, who bring £7 billion in export earnings to the country.

A poll by Universities UK recently revealed 76 per cent of people do not view international students as immigrants and 71 per cent support increasing the number of international students due to how they support the British economy.