Immigration Minister Mark Harper announced last week that despite Tier 4 visa changes and the abolition of the post study work visa last year, international student numbers have gone up.
Figures released by UCAS show a 9.9 per cent increase in number of students applying to UK universities from China and a 19.3 per cent on those from India.
The figures show that despite reforms to the student visa route and a crackdown on abuse, students are still coming to study at UK universities, the Minister said.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:
‘The increase in non-EEA student applications is further proof that the UK remains open to the brightest and the best and international students.
‘In particular, numbers from India and China have seen big increases. This shows that despite rhetoric to the contrary, students continue to want to come to the UK to study at our world class universities.
‘We have tackled abuse of the student route head on – without affecting genuine students. By protecting the reputation of the British education system will we be able to compete in a global race.’
Last week the Chairmen of five UK parliamentary committees wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to remove overseas students from migration targets.
The group of elected Members of Parliament (MP’s) are asking Mr Cameron to “reconcile” the “tensions” between tougher restrictions and the desire for economic growth.
Officials said that the fall in net migration figures last year was “largely due” to an overall drop in non-EU students, according to the ONS, which is depriving the UK economy of millions of pounds in revenue at a time when the economy needs growth.
Students already in the UK are also being deterred by new Rules and draconian immigration decisions seemingly designed to get rid of as many of them as possible. Foreign students see the government’s actions as basically saying “go home, we don’t want you or your money in the UK”.
Many students are even being arrested and detained, in some cases for months on end, before being removed from the UK after being refused visa extensions.
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