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  • Oct14 2014

    Senior Tory argues students should be exempt from immigration cap

    BY Author IN Family Law

    The former Conservative deputy Prime Minister, Lord Heseltine has told the BBC in an interview whilst attending the Conservative Party Conference that he favours foreign students to be exempt from the coalition Government’s target of cutting net migration below 100,000 by next year’s General Election.

    His comments came about following the information that was released by a joint poll of British Future and Universities UK, which represents British Universities. The results suggest that a majority of 60% of people who took part in the poll believe that the Government should not be actively seeking to reduce the number of foreign students.

    The majority of Conservatives agreed with Lord Heseltine, who explained that in his opinion, international students arriving at the UK for the purpose of study brought along a host of financial, economic and social benefits. The study also showed that only 22% of the public who took part in the poll thought that international students were considered as immigrations.

    Universities have been very clear on their stance regarding the benefits that international students bring to the UK and that any cap on the numbers of entries allowed to study in the UK would have detrimental financial effects on these further educational providers

    It was also reported by the BBC that – “the most common reaction is surprise and even bafflement that international students are classified as immigrants at all”.

    The Home Office said foreign students were included in the figures because they had “an impact on our communities and on our public services” and because this was the norm followed by UK’s competitors and by the United Nations.

    Not surprisingly, the UK Labour Party also favour excluding foreign students from the overall immigration target but it is quite clear from the results of this particular poll that what is required is serious discussions by both sides of the Government, many of whom already consider politicians of being “out of touch” with the common person.

    The Tory MP Mark Field, Chairman of Conservatives for Managed Migration, also backed the findings of the Report, telling the Guardian that “Politicians are rightly expected to engage with public concerns about immigration, and the government has done so admirably, but it is time politicians recognised that there are different types of immigration,” he said.

    It is acknowledged that, especially in the past, there has been illegal abuse of the student visa system, but as entry applications to globally acclaimed UK Universities continue to increase, it is important that the government recognises the public has already made distinction between the types of migrants in the UK – and now, it is time for the government to catch up.

    For more information on student visas, please do not hesitate to contact one of our immigration specialists on 0207 118 8005 or via e-mail at info@westkin.com.