Oral question answered on Monday 16 October 2017
On Monday 16 October, Sir Vince Cable (LD) asked the Secretary of State for Education what response have the Government given to the Government of India, who have made it clear that any post-Brexit trade deal is conditional on greatly expanding the number of student and other visas?
Answered on 16 October 2017 by Brandon Lewis, Minister for Immigration:
Obviously, as I said in answer to the first question from the hon. Member for Dundee West (Chris Law), we continue to encourage international students to come here. It is good to see that universities in this country saw a 5% rise last year. That is good for the economy, good for universities and good for our society.
Diane Abbott (Lab):
The Minister knows that international students are different from other types of migrants. They are temporary; they make a vital economic and cultural contribution to our universities; they contribute billions of pounds to our economy; and public opinion correctly does not think of students as immigrants. When will Ministers listen to voices from all parts of the House and remove international students from the immigration total?
I say gently to the right hon. Lady that the definition of net migration, which is decided by the UN, refers to people who have been in the country for 12 months or more, which university students obviously have if they are here for three years and using services here. Ultimately, though, the numbers are decided by the Office for National Statistics, which is an entirely independent organisation, and not by the Government.
- Posted by Rhys Newcombe-Jones
- On 18/10/2017