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Welcoming international students to the UK

23 Jul 2014

million+ are supporting a petition led by the independent Think Tank Bright Blue to remove international students from net migration targets. International students enrich Britain economically, socially and culturally. But, worryingly, the number of student visas issued for all post-18 study has declined since 2009 and recently the number of full-time overseas entrants to English universities has fallen for the first time in 29 years, with a particular drop in students from South Asia.

Analysis has forecast that international students contribute approximately £8 billion annually to the UK economy. They contribute to Britain’s intellectual capital and strengthen our skills base, essential to Britain’s future prosperity. Their impact on public services and social cohesion is minimal. Only about one in five international students actually stay in the country after their studies. They develop strong ties to Britain and become ambassadors for Britain, promoting our businesses, institutions and values.

It should be of enormous national pride that our universities are among the world’s best. Government should not undermine them with immigration policies that deter the number of talented students who can study at them. Indeed, the majority of the general public do not believe the level of student immigration into the UK should be reduced.

So we are urging all political parties to adopt the approach of countries like Australia and Canada and, as a first step, remove international students from the government’s net migration target after 2015.

Sign the petition and see more at: