The number of international students in UK reduces as the government introduces stringent immigration rules
According to Ms Dandridge, who is a chief executive of the umbrella organization “universities UK” the restrictive immigration rules and the hostile speeches and policy initiatives from the UK government are reducing the attractiveness of Britain as a destination for international students. Many young people from India, China and Pakistan are now choosing alternative destinations such as United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand over Britain
Ms Dandridge warns that this could have negative consequences not only for the UK education sector but also for the whole economy of the country. The reason for this is that the export of British education is worth nearly 15 Billion dollars per year. Home office ministers particularly have made series of speeches that have had a major negative impact on the international education in UK. Furthermore some recent events such as the Highly Trusted Sponsor revocation of the London Metropolitan University and the fact that in October 2012 30 000 international students were required to register in one single police station in London have also contributed to the negative image of UK as a destination for international students.
During the last several years the UK Government has launched a campaign against many bogus colleges, which according the immigration officials are selling “immigration not education”. As a result of this more than 400 colleges lost their right to sponsor international students for Tier 4 student visa.
The ongoing campaigns against the international students have reduced the number of student visas granted for Britain in 2012 with 26% in comparison with the previous years. Ms Dandridge told The Guardian ‘universities are reporting…significant drops, particularly from India, from Pakistan and now from China and Saudi Arabia. These are countries that send large numbers and also they are important countries in terms of international engagement and industry engagement, so we want to be promoting and fostering relations with them, not erecting barriers.’q
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