Responding to the speech, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of
Universities UK, said: “The UK has a world-class reputation for the quality of
its universities. We have one of the strongest systems for quality assurance in
“The diversity of institutions and the range of high quality
courses offered is one of the many strengths of our university sector. Any criteria
must reflect that diversity. The criteria must also support the critical role
that many universities play in their regions, where the impact of international
students directly supports regional economies, supplies high level graduate
skills, and ensures the sustainability of many courses at regional level.
“Polling has shown that the British public does not see
international students as long-term migrants, but as valuable, temporary
visitors. International students come to the UK, study for a period, and then
the overwhelming majority go home after their studies.
“International students also enrich our campuses and the
experience of UK students, both academically and culturally. Many return home
having forged strong professional and personal links in this country that
provide long-term, ‘soft power’ benefits for the UK.
“International (non-EU) students already make a £7 billion
contribution to the UK economy, generating almost 137,000 jobs in communities
in every region of the UK. International staff also make a vital contribution
to our universities and country. The UK has one the strongest university
systems in the world and is in a prime position to build on this and boost the
country’s export earnings.”