In response to the Home Office’s announcement on legal migration restrictions, University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said:
“Targeting international students through threats to graduate work visas shows a failure to recognise both public opinion and the economic reality. Research by Public First has shown that only 9% of the general public think that international students and researchers should be discouraged from coming to the UK. International student fees now fund university research activity and teaching for UK students, which make a combined loss of £6 billion. Our local economies need skills and innovation to grow, and in many constituencies, universities are the biggest source of both.
The question about international student post-work study visas has been asked and answered: when graduate work visas were last revoked, the UK lost an estimated £8bn in export earnings. In the same period, Australia overtook the UK as the second most popular study destination in the world. Treading over this debate again is a gift to our international competitors.”