The UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute, an independent think tank, has joined a chorus of protest at government proposals to tackle illegal immigration by restricting student visas, the Guardian reports today.
The report’s author, Professor Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia, told the BBC that government proposals to reduce the number of students studying below degree level would not only cut fee income by about $1.6bn, but would also reduce subsequent undergraduate numbers.
He said more than 40% of international students at UK universities arrive via a pre-university pathway course, and he warned that 70% of recruits to these courses would be barred by the language requirement change.
The report says: “For recruitment from countries where English is not one of the official languages, combining academic preparation with intensive English language tuition from native speakers is essential.
“Sever the link and the damage inflicted on our universities will be severe.” Source: Guardian.co.uk
Last month in its article, ‘The student system ain’t broke’, the Economist joined a host of other commentators in warning that plans to discourage foreign students threaten a successful British business.
In their recent blog, A Study in Stupidity, the JCWI said that “education and training exports represent the second biggest contributor to the UK’s net balance of payments. They are, according to the Financial Times, worth £40 billion”.
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