The Immigration Minister, Damian Green has set out his proposals to restrict Student Visas “to the brightest and the best” as part of the government’s new plans to reduce net immigration.
This follows a recent study by The Home Office which tracked non-EU migrants and showed that out of the 186,000 students who came to the UK in 2004 and were expected to stay for a short period of three years or less, more than a fifth of these students were still in the UK after five years. Mr Green said the figures were proof the coalition government had inherited an immigration system “largely out of control”.
The National Union of Students (NUS) has warned a cap on international students could damage the UK’s economy and society. Aaron Porter, head of the NUS argued: “ A cap will inevitably drive valuable students away from UK universities, taking with them billions of pounds of vital funds and denying our universities the breadth of knowledge that places them among the best in the world.”
When asked how a cap on internatioanl students would affect the funding for education and facilities at Southampton, Janice Rippon, Head of Student Services issued the statement: “It is unlikely that the cap would result in reduced income but it is possible that it will put an upper limit on the planned growth in international student recruitment. The student experience would continue to be a priority for spending even if a cap on numbers of international students was set.”