Universities UK is working with five other Higher Education
representative groups to speak with one voice in proposing changes which would benefit students, institutions and
the Home Office.
importance of international students, both culturally and economically is
well-recognised, however currently the UK is being hampered in its attempts to
maximise this benefit by a unwieldly and uncompetitive student visa regime.
This has prompted Universities UK, Guild HE, MillionPlus, the Russell Group,
University Alliance and UKCISA to jointly produce the a briefing document
outlining how significant improvements could be made as the system is reviewed
by government. It sets out principles for reform and also calls for
specific actions to be taken across three key areas:
Improving the international student experience
Reducing the administrative burden
Increasing the reliability, transparency and
accountability of the immigration system
Alistair Jarvis, Chief
Executive, Universities UK, said:
has carried out research confirming
broad support among the British public for international students. The results
showed a recognition of the valuable economic and social contributions they
make not only to their universities, but to the communities in which they live.
“We know that the UK ranks first
for satisfaction overall amongst international students studying here compared
to other major destinations, but our offer to them is being held back by
longstanding and uncompetitive policy barriers. It is time to correct these.
“In any post-Brexit immigration
system, the student experience should not be significantly different for
international students than for UK students and we will continue to push
government to ensure that this is recognised.”
Former Universities Minister Jo
Johnson MP said:
“The UK will lose its
world-beating position in the global higher education market if it does not
improve its offer to international students. The proposals put forward in this
briefing highlight a number of ways in which the Government could help make the
UK a more attractive destination for international students.
“It is essential that well-meaning
measures to prevent the exploitation of student visas do not become
unnecessarily burdensome on universities or put off the brightest and the best
students from studying in the UK.”
actions set out in this briefing are taken, the six representative
organisations are concerned about the government’s ability to meet its
commitment to grow the number of international students studying in the UK
annually to 600,000.
UK is the collective voice of 136 universities in England, Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK
universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact
locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of
universities, represented by their heads of institution. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk