The Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students have again raised concerns about the inclusion of international students in net migration figures
The Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students have again raised concerns about the inclusion of international students in net migration figures, echoing the call to remove international students in their 2018 Inquiry. Despite continued problems with the net migration data and the clear value of international students across the UK, the new home secretary, Suella Braverman, has pledged to cut net migration and advocated to “definitely substantially reduce the number of students.”
The APPG for International Students has consistently argued against international students being counted in net migration figures, not least as international students are temporary immigrants with the overwhelming majority returning to their home countries on completion of their studies. Based on Home Office data from exit checks, the Oxford Migration Observatory reports that at least 98% of non-EU students leave the UK on time and before their visa expires.
The APPG International Students argues for a more welcome approach to international students. As Paul Blomfield MP, Co-Chair of the APPG International Students, said: “Nobody’s concerned about international students in the debate on net headline migration numbers. They provide a huge benefit bringing nearly £30 billion a year to the UK economy, supporting jobs and businesses in every part of the UK, including those which the Government claims it wants to level up. This student group plays an important role in our universities, enriching our campuses, and they bolster Britain’s place in the world at a time when we need it.”
The net economic benefit of international students, as calculated by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), extends to the whole of the UK. Indeed, HEPI reports that on average every part of the UK is financially better off, on average, by £390 per person as a direct result of international students.
International education is an extremely competitive business with countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States ready and willing to take away market share from the UK.
Co-Chair Lord Bilimoria commented: “As a former international student myself I know the value of the British university degree, our universities are the finest in the world along with the USA. The APPG for International Students recommended a target for international students which the government listened to and we have now crossed the figure set of 600,000. International students are one of the strongest elements of soft power the UK has, not only enriching the experience of our domestic students but building generation long links and friendships; there are more world leaders educated at British universities than any other country along with the USA.”
Put simply, and as explained by Paul Blomfield MP: “If the Government don’t welcome international students and their families, they’ll simply turn to one of the many countries that will. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary must think again and drop this backwards-looking proposal”. Lord Bilimoria agreed and said: “We are in a global race and many of our competitor countries do not include international students when calculating net migration figures as the vast majority of international students are not immigrants!”
- Posted by Exporting Education UK
- On 25/11/2022