Nearly $24 Million: Financial Impact of UofM International Students on Community

January 8, 2018 - The financial impact of international students at the University of Memphis is $23.7 million, supporting 343 jobs – the largest of colleges in Tennessee's ninth Congressional District and fourth largest of universities in the state. The findings were released in an annual report by NAFSA: Association of International Students.

The UofM has 616 international students from 55 countries, and their economic impact includes tuition, housing, food, transportation, health insurance, phones, dining and retail spending.

"The past decade has seen a dramatic shift in how universities approach the recruitment and graduation of international students," says Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, vice provost for Academic Affairs, chief innovation officer and dean of the Graduate School. "The new paradigm emphasizes two new aspects – education as a service export and creating economic value by growing a global diaspora for our region. This new understanding informs all our initiatives with regard to international students. This is helping us contribute directly to the success of our city as it modernizes and globalizes for a competitive world."

International students, who comprise only 5 percent of overall U.S. college enrollment, contributed nearly $37 billion to the U.S. economy last year. These students created or supported more than 450,000 jobs – three jobs for every seven international students. In Tennessee, the economic benefits from international students totaled $333 million, supporting 4,501 jobs.

"The impact of international students goes beyond economic benefits," says Rebecca Laumann, interim executive director of the UofM Center for International Education Services. "International students enrich our campus and the Memphis community with cultural diversity and help us to provide a global learning environment for U.S. students. International students foster networking and research collaboration, and they are our best ambassadors overseas."


Chuck Gallina | 901.678.1756 l cgallina@memphis.edu