Foreign student crackdown ‘risks universities going bust’

The government’s chief immigration adviser has warned that cracking down on foreign students entering the country would put universities at risk of bankruptcy.

Professor Brian Bell, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, said moves to bar international students from lower-ranked universities or courses could deprive institutions of vital income, force them into bankruptcy and undermine the government’s agenda to raise standards.

However, he said the government was right to consider restricting the right of international students to bring their relatives after the increase in the number of dependents who arrived in the past three years.

His comments come on the heels of shocking data released Thursday that showed net immigration had reached a post-war high of 504,000 in the year ending in June, with more than 1.3 million visas granted to foreign nationals seeking to live, study or work in the kingdom. United.

Home Office figures showed that foreign students jumped 77 percent to a high of 476,389. A fifth of them were granted entry visas for a record 116,000 family members.

This represents a sevenfold increase from the 16,047 dependents who were granted visas in 2019, when only six per cent of international students brought their partners or children to the UK.

“low quality” certificates

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said “all options” were being considered, including limiting the number of dependents and limiting access to “low-quality” degrees.

Professor Bell said universities have greatly expanded the number of places offered to international students due to a fee freeze for domestic students for a decade or more.

This means that the high fees paid by undergraduate and postgraduate students abroad support the losses incurred by students at home.

“You have to be very careful what you do because of the mutual support from international students. It could send more universities over the edge,” he said.

You can’t think of this as immigration policy. It is also an educational policy. For example, would you significantly increase the fees paid by UK students to make up for the losses if it closed the way for international students? “

Asked on BBC Radio if this meant universities would go bankrupt, Professor Bell said: “Yes. Most universities and most courses lose money teaching British students and make up for that loss by charging more fees to international students.

“If I close the international route, I’m not sure the university will still survive.”

He also warned that it could undermine the government’s compromise agenda as it could disproportionately affect universities outside the Southeast. “If you focus on elite universities, London, Oxford and Cambridge are all doing well, but what about Newcastles, the North West and Scotland,” he said.

calls for investigation

He said the increase in the number of dependents brought by foreign students was, however, an area in which “the government may wish to consider whether this offer is adequate in terms of being able to bring in dependents.”

He said this is particularly true of one-year master’s programs “where it may not be clear why dependents are allowed to attend in the same way”.

Nigerians brought as many dependents as students, with 51,648 relatives to the 50,980 students. Libyans brought more dependents than students, with 467 relatives out of 305 students. Other countries with at least one close relative for every two students were Sri Lanka, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Iran.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Center for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, said the increase should be investigated because of the potential for risk visas to be used “as a means of entering a country where it may be difficult”.

It could be a result of expanding student numbers in countries where people traditionally bring in more dependents, such as Nigeria and India, said Madeline Sumption, director of Oxford University’s Migration Observatory.

India has become the largest source of international students for UK universities, overtaking China, whose students bring hardly any dependents. By contrast, the 127,814 Indian students brought 33,239 relatives.

Previous post
Pictures show amazing moment lightning bolt plunged Welsh town into darkness
Next post
How to watch Netherlands vs Ecuador: Watch the World Cup 2022 game on free TV and live stream to day