International students and staff make a vital contribution to the UK's world-leading higher education sector.
We aim to:
secure an immigration system that enables universities to recruit and retain talented staff and students from all over the world
ensure there is a proportionate, fair and transparent immigration compliance regime for UK universities: one which targets abuse but welcomes genuine international (non-EU) students and staff
maintain the excellent international reputation of UK universities
protect the strength and competitiveness of UK universities globally
Our current priorities include:
campaigning for students to be taken out of the net migration target
ensuring that changes to immigration rules do not limit the ability of universities to attract and recruit world-leading researchers and teachers
influencing the implementation of the Conservative manifesto commitment to place more responsibility on visa sponsors whose sponsees overstay (by using exit check data)
seeking improvements to the current visa compliance regime
working with Universities UK International to promote the UK's universities around the world
Our work is informed by the UUK International Policy Network, chaired by Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter.
Higher education is increasingly globalised, with growing numbers of students wanting to study a degree outside of their home country. The UK is currently the second most popular destination for international students after the United States.
International students bring significant economic, social and cultural benefits to the UK. They also contribute significantly to postgraduate courses – particularly in science, engineering, technology and maths. Non-EU students contribute £8 billion to the UK economy – estimated to rise to £17 billion by 2025 – and enhance the diversity of university campuses. UNESCO estimates that the number of students seeking to study abroad will increase from around four million in 2010 to seven million by 2020.
International staff also make a vital contribution to UK universities. In 2013–14, over 30,110 non-EU staff were employed in UK universities, making a vital contribution to our world-leading research base.
Our universities are world-leading. To retain this enviable position, it is vital that they remain able to recruit genuine international students and world-leading academics and researchers from around the world.