The University of Northampton is “on target” to double the number of its overseas students by 2018, in a move it estimates will be worth £30 million to the local economy.
Vice-chancellor Nick Petford made the announcement to a meeting of business leaders and politicians at the Guildhall.
The university currently has more than 1,000 overseas students and its plan to increase the numbers ties in with its ambitions to move to a town centre campus.
Dr Ian Brooks, the international lead at the university, said it was becoming a more attractive destination for overseas students.
He said: “As little as 10 years ago, there was no more than a handful of overseas students. We are now broadly in line with the sector norms, which represents enormous growth. The overseas market is vast.
“I travel overseas a lot and people think very highly of British education. So many families aspire to send their daughters and sons to this country, and Northampton is certainly on their radar.
“The economic figure, if anything, could be under-estimated. All manner of services connected to the town will benefit.”
Speaking about the target figure, he added: “It is an aspirational target which started when Nick came here. We had a long-term plan and we are broadly in touch with that.
“At the moment, we have more than 1,000 overseas students at the university, which represents just over 10 per cent of the student body.”
As well as the town centre campus, a new university halls of residence is being built on the old St John’s car park, which is nearing completion.