Last month, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published a report which shows that international students bring in around £13bn to the UK’s economy and generate almost 70,000 jobs. IPPR, the UK’s leading progressive think tank believes that the UK risks losing its status as the second most popular destination for international students due to the government’s confusing immigration rules. IPPR’s analysis shows that the number of international students coming to the UK has decreased by 29% since 2010.
IPPR’s Findings on UK Immigration Policy & International Students
The UK government has a set a target of cutting net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands as a result of widespread public anxiety about migration. International students remaining in the UK for longer than 12 months are officially counted as migrants in government statistics which means that foreign students have become a prime target for efforts to reduce overall migrant numbers.
The research found the following:
- Data shows that international student entrants to higher education for the 2012/13 academic year were broadly flat which represents a significant slow-down from previous trends – from 2007/08 to 2011/12 the average annual growth rate was 6.3%;
- The number of visas issued to international students fell by 46% in the year to December 2012 and the income that further education colleges received from Tier 4 students’ tuition fees is estimated to have decreased by £11m between 2010/11 and 2011/12, from £52,699,986 to £41,632,989; and
- The UK’s post-study work offer is weaker than many of its major competitor countries. A survey carried out for the report on Indian nationals who are considering study abroad, found that 91% of respondents thought that the UK’s restrictions on the ability to work post-study would put off either ‘some’ or ‘most’ students.
IPPR’s Recommendations for UK Government
IPPR’s report recognises that that the UK needs a student visa regime that clamps down on abuse but it also needs to be open and flexible enough to attract foreign students in a competitive market. Research shows that the decline of students coming to the UK may be attributed to tough immigration laws and could be seen as the result of the introduction of the Immigration Bill which intends to make it more difficult for immigrants to live and work in the UK after they have studied their course.
IPPR have recommended that the government should abandon the net migration target as it “creates a perverse incentive for cutting international student numbers and is incompatible with the growth of one of the UK’s crucial export industries.”
Speaking after the report was published, Alice Sachrajda a Research Fellow at IPPR stated that the government should reform “confusing” work laws as the UK’s competitors have already done.
Successful UK Tier 4 Student Visa Applications & Appeals
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a student visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.
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