Tory drive to limit foreign students is damaging Britain’s reputation abroad

The UK had nine institutions in the top 100 universities this year - three fewer than in 2011, according to the latest figures from the Times Higher Education. The Tories were warned that imposing an arbitrary limit on student numbers would damage Britain's educational reputation abroad.

The UK had nine institutions in the top 100 universities this year – three fewer than in 2011, according to the latest figures from the Times Higher Education.

Commenting on this year’s report, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings Phil Baty said that he has “clear evidence that the US and the UK in particular are losing ground“.

Given the government’s determination to put foreign students off studying in the UK, perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Five chairs of parliamentary committees have previously called for visas for non-EU students to be excluded from the Home Office’s cap on net immigration figures, a cap blocking an £8bn industry.

But no, home secretary Theresa May pressed ahead with the cap.

“The most significant migrant route to Britain is the student route. And so we must take action here too,” she said in March 2011.

And the policy has born fruit. It was reported last week that the number of overseas students fell to 197,000 in the 12 months to June from 239,000 the previous year.

The only problem is that the fruit appears to be rotten.

The Tories were warned by their coalition partners that imposing an arbitrary limit on student numbers would damage Britain’s educational reputation abroad:

“The last thing we need to be doing when we are encouraging growth is to pull the rug out from under the feet of our great universities,” a senior Liberal Democrat source warned in 2011.

And going by this year’s university rankings, there’s a good chance it has.

Responding to the latest university rankings, general secretary of the University and College Union Sally Hunt said:

“It is unlikely that recent negative headlines around the world about the UK threatening to deport students, coupled with changes to how students are classified for migration figures, will have done much to enhance our reputation on the international stage.”

Does it matter?

Well, yes. As Phil Baty added: “A university’s reputation is subjective, but it matters deeply in today’s highly competitive global marketplace,”

Top ten nationalities issued entry clearance visas for the purposes of study, 2011 (Total 261,405)

International students

Source: Home Office, Immigration Statistics July – September 2012, Before Entry tables be.06.s.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

66 Responses to “Tory drive to limit foreign students is damaging Britain’s reputation abroad”

  1. Mick

    Well you do know how to snipe. And a rotten sniper, you miss the targets time and again.

  2. Mick

    Whatever put that idea in your head? Maybe a subconscious fixation you may be an unfit parent yourself Newsie?

    Though being an anarchist, maybe that’s your middle class aspirational side speaking

  3. Newsbot9

    No, again you’re trying to pass off your attempted murder onto me. Sick.

  4. Newsbot9

    Again, you’re trying to dictate what I think and feel.

    That’d be your call for it – and no, unlike you I’m not a danger to kids.

  5. Mick

    Again, that shot missed my head by miles.

    Perhaps you should train in violence like your other anarchists:http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/resistg8/media/0402boot_camp.htm

    Anarchists are the sickos.

  6. Mick

    Calm down dear.

    Random spite gets you nowhere.

  7. Newsbot9

    Yes, that’s why you use it so much, as you chant your mantra vs reality.

  8. Newsbot9

    You’re shooting at me. Keep claiming many people are like you.

    PS, that article is untrue.

  9. Mick

    Pulling stuff out of the air again.

    And simply denying whatever evidence is shown you. Where’s YOUR evidence, eh?

  10. Mick

    Mantras promote peace. Thanks.

  11. Newsbot9

    Yes, just like your sniper rifles.

  12. Newsbot9

    Your posts. Keep denying them as you admit you’ve pulled your views out of thin air!

  13. Mick

    The way it works is I present my evidence, then you provide your own to rebut.

    Not sit there and whine like a bitch.

  14. Newsbot9

    The way you work is lie, then expect uncritical acceptance of your lies. Or you’ll accuse them of your sins, over and over, in your reality-free mantra.

    And why are you sitting then doing that then?

  15. Mick

    If I lie, disprove it. The Web’s there as much for you as me.

    But whine like a bitch instead. Goodness me, you’re whinin’.

  16. Newsbot9

    Why would I want to “prove” you’re not a liar when you are? And no, again, the whining noise is yours.

Leave a Reply