Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students

Seventy university heads have sent a letter to the prime minister asking him not to unfairly target international students to lower immigration levels.

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Seventy university chancellors and council chairs sent a letter to the prime minister asking him not to target international students in their efforts to lower immigration levels.

Crying-studentsThe letter said:

“In this Olympic year, when our universities will be hosting athletics teams and media from across the globe, we urge you to send a clear message that genuine international students are also welcome in, and valued by, the United Kingdom.

“International students also play an important role in towns and cities up and down the country, and contribute significantly to local economies.

“There is a clear opportunity to build on this success, with forecasts suggesting that export earnings from this activity could more than double by 2025.”

The letter also requests that international students are removed from net migration figures in order to identify the difference between temporary and permanent migration.

Britain attracts 1 in 10 foreign undergraduates and postgraduates, who bring in £8bn a year through tuition fees and other investment. This figure is expected to double by 2025. The government hopes to bring down the current net migration figure of 250,000 per year to below 100,000 per year.

Universities are also worried about a number of expected changes to the student visa system which will deter students from studying here.

These include banning students from remaining in the country after graduating unless they earn at least £20,000 in a skilled job, preventing them from taking degrees or MAs that last for more than five years, requiring students to provide evidence of progression through their course and cracking down on dependants.

 


See also:

Net migration target could slam door to foreign students 14 May 2012

New student visa system turning prospective entrepreneurs away from the UK 18 Nov 2011

Anti-foreign student rhetoric risks real harm to our global reputation 22 Sep 2011

How Tory immigration populism is costing us £3.4 billion 26 Jul 2011

The crazy economics of reducing foreign student visas 24 Feb 2011


 

Left Foot Forward reported last November that the student visa changes were already turning prospective students away.

As Sally Hunt the general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) wrote on Left Foot Forward last year:

“The UK is the second most popular destination for foreign students, after the United States, but we must not get complacent and must redouble our efforts to ensure we continue to attract the best and brightest students and academics to our shores.

“The changes to student visas as part of the government’s clampdown on immigration risks making the UK a less popular destination for foreign students, which, based on today’s figures, would be bad news for UK universities as they struggled to adjust to huge government funding cuts.

“It is not just universities and our thriving educational export sector that would suffer though. In June, the home affairs select committee warned government plans to limit visas could result in a £3.6 billion loss from the British economy.”

Considering the evidence, might the government change their mind about targeting international students through their immigration drive? And if so, are we in for another glorious U-turn?

 


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16 Responses to “Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students”

  1. Gareth Hughes

    Costing the UK billions in lost tuition fees RT @leftfootfwd: Unis tell PM: Don’t crack down on international students //t.co/hz9G6OPI

  2. Yrotitna

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students, by @KatieDagger: //t.co/shr7hjVK

  3. Foxy52

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students, by @KatieDagger: //t.co/shr7hjVK

  4. Alec Speight

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students | Left Foot Forward – //t.co/mdRsN3p8

  5. Jane Davidson

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students, by @KatieDagger: //t.co/shr7hjVK

  6. Liza Harding

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students | Left Foot Forward – //t.co/mdRsN3p8

  7. Jane Basham

    Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students, by @KatieDagger: //t.co/shr7hjVK

  8. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students //t.co/5LuzqUHR

  9. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students //t.co/zz6PFHu7

  10. Anonymous

    It’s already having a major effect on top of the other changes, Universities have to assume that their revenue is going to fall sharply and are cutting back on courses, departments and research as a result.

    Even a U-Turn now won’t help for some years, the damage has already largely been done. Foreign partners are turning to Universities in other countries for their students.

  11. Gareth Lewis Shelton

    RT @leftfootfwd: Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students //t.co/oiiAqPr7

  12. Mr. Sensible

    Headline-grabbing rhetoric on immigration isn’t working.

  13. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students //t.co/Sec7eODQ

  14. Neil McLintock

    Universities have pleaded with govt not to clamp down on international students //t.co/zydXfawm #PMQs

  15. Jam Butties

    “@leftfootfwd Universities have pleaded with govt not to clamp down on international students //t.co/mMKm4OQ4 #PMQs”

  16. Young and in love - but unable to settle due to draconian immigration clampdown | Left Foot Forward

    […] Universities tell Cameron: Please don’t crack down on international students 30 May […]

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