UK: International students should not be considered immigrants
WORLD / U.K. – Students entering into the UK to study, have long been classified in the same category as people coming for other reasons such as living. Now, the UK government is looking to change that.
Some of the leading vice-chancellors are asking the government to rebuild its immigration policies from the ground up. The rules currently in place are apparently deterring student’s thought of going to school in the UK, and making them consider other countries with less strict policies.
Goal for less than 100,000 migrants annually
The UK government currently has a goal to get migration to 100,000 people or less per year, a number less than half the current number. It is said that students should no longer be included in these numbers. With new rules that apply specifically to students, the restrictions that all immigrants must abide by, will not apply to students, thus, the claimed damage being done on the UK’s economy and universities will be quelled.
The study, which the report referred to, not only called for less tougher restrictions on students, but also for those students who stay in the country after graduating, and join the UK work force. All of this is meant to increase the numbers of foreign students past the current yearly 300,000.
An ICM poll was also a part of the study. The findings include the below statistics:
- 59% of people opposed the reduction of foreign students, only 22% approved of it.
- 60% of people think it to be true that migrant students bring money into local economies, 12% considered them a drain. When people living in university towns were asked, the supporting number rose to 66%.
- 61% agree that Britain’s universities would have less funding to invest in top-quality facilities and teaching without the higher fees paid by international students. Only 7% disagree.
- The majority of people (75%) are in favour of allowing international students to stay on and work after they finish their degree.
The study was held by Universities UK and British Future. UUK says that the above numbers (the survey was done by 2,111 adults) proves that the people of the UK support having altered policies that are specific to students.
International students help economy
In the report’s foreward by Mark Field, Chairman of Conservatives for Managed Migration, he said “almost 300,000 international students came to our universities in 2012–13. Only the United States matches the strength of this appeal to students from around the world.”
“There is a broad public consensus that international students are good for Britain: people welcome the income they bring to these shores; they are happy to see the skills they have gained here help British firms rather than our international competitors; they are rightly anxious when they see other English-speaking nations aggressively target the lucrative international student market at the expense of British universities.”
“Above all this is great news for those of us who want our world class universities to thrive and compete internationally. A welcoming approach to international students can clearly be seen to reflect British public opinion, rather than challenge it.”
The president of UUK stated it is “clear that the public sees international students as valuable, temporary visitors, not immigrants. The current one-size-fits-all approach to immigration does not work and must be changed.”
Download the report here.
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