iNews is reporting that tougher immigration rules introduced under the Conservatives are discouraging international students from studying in the UK and hitting university finances, MPs and Lords have warned.
The “hostile environment” for migrants ushered in by Theresa May and the impact of the Brexit vote on the perception of the UK has seen overseas student numbers decline relative to other countries, the all party parliamentary group on international students has said.
The drop in international student numbers has been widely cited by university leaders as a significant factor behind the financial challenges hitting the higher education sector.
The growth rate of international students over the three years between 2012 and 2015 was just 0.7 per cent in the UK, compared with 22.5 per cent in the US, 26.9 per cent in Canada and 18 per cent in Australia.
The APPG co-chair Lord Bilimoria warned that Canada has overtaken the UK for attracting students from India, as he criticised the Government’s target to limit net migration to the tens of thousands.
“Britain is losing in the battle to attract talented and committed international students from around the world,” he said. “Eight years of prioritising an impossible target using misleading statistics, over our economy and world-leading institutions has left the UK’s position as the second largest destination for international students in jeopardy.”
The report calls on the Government to overhaul immigration rules for students, while providing welcoming messages to to overseas students and offering “attractive” post-study work visas.
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