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British universities will lose $1.6bn from student visa cut think tank warns | Immigration Matters

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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.

Last month Hepi said plans to limit student visas and raise the English language skills requirements of applicants would have “dire consequences” for universities.

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”.

See also:

Government appears to be listening to education sector on student visa reforms

The student system ‘ain’t broke’, say The Economist

Edinburgh Students Union oppose UKBA’s student cull

Scottish Universities fears over tough new Tier 4 visa rules

 Tier 4 Consultation ends as Damian Green promises clampdown on Student Visa abuse

How to Obtain a Student Visa to Study in the UK

Tier 4 student visa cuts will damage UK Universities, Ministers warned

Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa to be abolished

A Study in Stupidity – JCWI Blog

College raided by UKBA and Police, five staff arrested on suspicion of immigration crimes

UK to increase immigration fees from 6 April Home Office announce

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