17 May 2019
MillionPlus welcomes the Government‘s International Education Strategy. It is a much-needed signal of intent that the UK is seeking to change tack and become more outwardly welcoming to overseas students, and to commit to that as a policy objective. For too long the UK has not capitalised on the enormous draw of its world-leading higher education sector, and the UK has lost market share to competitors as a result.
The ambitions set out in the strategy are ones MillionPlus has broadly endorsed and are ones that our membership will work with the government on to see realised. The UK Government has targeted an increase in education exports to £35bn by 2030 and growing international student numbers coming to the UK to 600,000 by 2030. We believe that these targets are an important step in the right direction, but also that we have the capacity to exceed them. We therefore hope that the government will see these as a minimum threshold in its work with the sector, not as the end point we hope to arrive at. As highlighted above, international students are a phenomenal asset for the UK, and are spread across every region, generating huge economic growth as well as academic excellence. Visa policy in the round should reflect this.