A year-long study by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which provides evidence for Government immigration policy, will conclude that it is right that students should be counted in the same way as other migrants moving to the UK. The Daily Mail reports.
The finding is a vindication for Theresa May, who has spent years resisting pressure to soften her stance on immigration.
The report is expected to say: ‘Many of the respondents argued that students should be taken out of the government’s net migration target. None suggested a practical way that this might be done.’
‘We cannot see a reliable method. Even if a method were to be found, it would be unlikely to make much difference to the migration statistics.’
The study also notes that the number of foreign students in the UK has risen by almost 30 per cent over the last decade, despite claims that the existing rules act as a disincentive. It will increase Mrs May’s determination not to remove foreign students from the long-standing Tory target of slashing net immigration to below 100,000 a year.
Mrs May resisted the move for years as Home Secretary, warning that excluding foreign students would be seen by voters as an attempt to ‘fiddle the figures’.
But supporters of the change argue that exit checks have shown that the vast majority of foreign students do not overstay their welcome in this country.
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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