Student migration in the UK
The government’s overall objective is to reduce total net immigration to the UK ‘from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands’. Net immigration via routes over which the government does have control, including student migration from outside the EEA, will have to be cut by substantially more than half in order to meet this overall objective.
Data on compliance in the student visa system is limited, but suggests that rates of non-compliance are relatively low. Given this, it is clear that cuts of the magnitude sought by the government will not be achieved simply by stamping out abuse. Indeed, even stopping all student migration for courses below degree level would not reduce the total numbers sufficiently to meet the government’s overall objective.
There is a risk that the proposed changes in the student visa regime impose substantial (and very real) costs on the education sector and the wider economy simply in order to deliver largely illusory reductions in migration statistics.
Sarah Mulley, Associate Director for Migration, Integration and Communities (maternity leave)
Alice Sachrajda, Qualitative Research Fellow
In the news
Foreign student crackdown will cost the economy £2.4bn
Guardian - 13 Jun 2011
Visa changes would be disastrous for Oxford's economy say language schools
Oxford Mail - 25 Feb 2011
British Chambers of Commerce urges Government to help companies hire staff
Telegraph - 25 Feb 2011
Report criticises proposed changes to student visa system
Times Higher Education Supplement - 22 Feb 2011
Immigration targets will damage universities
Telegraph - 22 Feb 2011
Student work search visa to be scrapped
BBC Online - 07 Dec 2010
Students lead 20% immigration rise
Press Association - 26 Aug 2010
Author(s) : Matt Cavanagh - 15 Jun 2012
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