Concerns Over International Student Numbers
Plans to cut international student numbers at universities in the UK are being considered by the government, according to news reports citing unnamed sources.
The belief follows an announcement by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in October which pledged stricter visa rules for certain universities and courses.
However, according to an article in the Education Guardian: “Senior university sources are warning that the cutbacks could be far more severe than expected.”
International students bring more than £10.7bn to the UK economy, according to Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ umbrella group, the Education Guardian stated.
The Home Office has denied it is planning severe cuts to international student numbers.
The Education Guardian article quotes Professor Colin Riordan, vice-chancellor of Cardiff University, who said the alleged plan didn’t address people’s concerns about immigration.
“The Home Office seems to have decided that cutting international students is the only way of delivering the manifesto target of getting net migration down to the tens of thousands. The problems people are seeing on the ground are certainly not caused by international university students or staff.”
An article on the issue in the Independent newspaper quoted NUS international students’ officer, Mostafa Rajaai, who said: “We are extremely worried how the basic rights of so many international students have been taken away from them over the past few years.
“Britain’s reputation as a much desired destination for learning has already been tarnished across the globe due to how international students have been treated,” he added.
According to the Education Guardian article the Home Office said: “Claims the Home Office is modelling cuts to reduce international students to a third [ie 100,000 a year] are categorically untrue.
“We want to strengthen the system to support the best universities – and those that stick to the rules – to attract the best talent. The British people have sent a clear message that they want more control of immigration and we are committed to getting net migration down to sustainable levels in the tens of thousands.”