UK urged to be more welcoming to overseas students

The Mayors of a number of UK cities have joined together to urge the government to be more welcoming to overseas students.

In a joint letter sent to the Migration Advisory Committee, the independent agency which advises the Government on migration issues, the Mayors ask the British Government to rethink its policies on international students. They want overseas students to be viewed as an important contributing factor to the economy, trade and international relations in the future.

Last year, the number of overseas students coming to the UK to study rose by just under 1 per cent. In total, 442,755 overseas students arrived to study in the UK in the 2016/2017 academic year.

However, in the wake of 2016’s Brexit vote, there was a slowdown in the number of students arriving from the EU. This slowdown is expected to continue as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is important that any future immigration system acknowledges the vital contribution international students make to regional jobs and growth. This includes projecting a more open and welcoming message for international students,” the letter says.

The Mayors of Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester, London, Liverpool, the West Midlands, and Tees Valley are those who have joined forces to encourage the government to be more welcoming to students.

Recent research from think tank the Higher Education Policy Institute says that each year’s intake of overseas students brought £22.6 billion worth of benefits to the economy while imposing only £2.3 billion costs on the public sector.

Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool were among the biggest economic beneficiaries of international students.

Article published 22nd January 2018