Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

The recent cuts on non-EU students entry into UK for studying courses, notwithstanding the Home Office seems to be on a damage control mode.

Date: (27 June 2012)    |    

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Damien Green has said that UK has been forced to launch a global charm offensive to convince foreign students it was not against immigration.
The minister said that it was necessary to shift the perception that after recent rule changes doors had closed to non-EU students.
He has made a plea that students should come to the UK for pursuing studies as it had got some of the world's best universities.
This follows after businesses and University chiefs put a lot of pressure to relax visa restrictions.
They want foreign students to be exempted from the government's target of reducing net migration from its current level of about 250,000 a year to "tens of thousands" by 2015.
But MPs on the Commons business select committee were told it was too early to say with certainty that the government's policy had significantly damaged UK universities.
And it was often the perception that Britain was now tough on immigration that was acting as a deterrent to elite foreign students.
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute for Directors, said remarks which went well with the locals made in Westminster or around the country, is often on the front page of The Times of India and the New Straits Times the next day, because of the internet, and the impacts on this on perceptions of Britain were quite strong.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of UK Universities, said that on the aggregate due to the changes made and implemented Britain was being put into disadvantaged position compared to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
She told the MPs that Britain was viewed to be at the more stringent end of the spectrum and that's a question of substance as well as perception.
She said there had been a 10% increase in applications from non-EU but it was mostly from Chinese students which though a welcome sign were for studying business and management whereas students from Brazil and India, who tended to study scientific and technical subjects, were increasingly choosing countries that appeared more welcoming.
Mr Green said that now that the changes were in place and the sensible thing to do was to let the system settle down while taking the campaign around the world saying the brightest students and the best are as welcome as ever to Britain.