Remove overseas students from migration stats – Indians to UK government

Remove overseas students from migration stats - Indians to UK government

Some UK media have reported that the Prime Minister of the UK is planning to reduce foreign students who are bringing dependents and studying low-quality degrees at mediocre UK universities. This came up after the total migration figures of the country hit record levels.

A student organization led by the Indian diaspora has urged the UK government to remove international students from the overall immigration statistics of the country. This issue came up due to an unconfirmed report which stated that the prime minister may consider a crackdown on foreigners who were granted study visas.

Some UK media have reported that the Prime Minister of the UK is planning to reduce foreign students who are bringing dependents and studying low-quality degrees at mediocre UK universities. This came up after the total migration figures of the country hit record levels.

National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK

It was indicated by Downing Street that all options to decrease the overall migrant numbers are on the table. The National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK campaigns for streamlined provisions in the UK for those Indian students who have been studying there. It stated that in the long run, any move to rank universities arbitrarily would prove counterproductive.

The NISAU UK Chair stated that students who are temporarily in the UK must not be counted as migrants. Moreover, Indians are the biggest cohort of International students in the UK. They bring a total revenue of GBP 30 billion into the British economy. They also go back as friends of the UK and further ties of trade, diplomacy and culture.

The higher education sector of the UK is one of the largest exports of India to the world. Thus, India is hoping that there is no arbitrary definition of what counts as a top university by the government. The group urged for a creative and innovative policy solution. They insist that this policy must address the skills and labour shortages of the UK through its graduates from overseas.

International Students\’ Contribution to the UK

The Universities UK International represents over 140 UK universities. This association sounded a caution note over any policy moves that will be cutting down international student numbers. This will be a potential act of self-harm and increase the financial pressures on universities.

If the Government of the UK cuts the number of international students, it would directly counter the strategy of the UK Government to welcome more students from across the world. The enormous cultural and financial contribution to the UK comes from International students.

International students help in making the campuses and cities in the UK more vibrant and thought-provoking places. Moreover, international students sustain jobs in towns and cities throughout the country.

Also, the financial contribution made by international students has been very significant for UK universities. It would evidently be an act of self-harm to limit international students and it would damage many parts of the UK.

Recent Statistics

Various concerns have been avoked with the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week. The data has revealed that the net migration to the UK has seen a rise from 173,000 to 504,000 between June 2021 and June 2022. This is an increase of 331,000 post-Brexit.

This spike is mainly attributed to International students. Moreover, Indians have overtaken Chinese students as the highest student visas for the first time. The manifesto of the Conservative Party-led UK government is to reduce migration “overall”. This has been reiterated in recent weeks and months by UK Home Secretary.

The UK Home Secretary had previously expressed her worries about international students who are bringing in dependent family members. These dependants rely on a student visa. She is also looking at proposals to tackle this issue.

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