"These two official reports show that there is very high visa compliance by international students. The number of students overstaying their visas is a tiny fraction of previous (incorrect) claims.
"International students make a vital contribution to the UK economy, enrich our campuses and the experience of UK students culturally as well as economically. It is crucial that future student visa policy is developed using robust data. This should be coupled with a positive international communications campaign led by government to highlight that international students are welcomed and valued visitors to the UK.
"The ONS' commitment to improve the immigration data to inform the future understanding of student migration patterns is very welcome. Universities UK are ready to assist the ONS and the Home Office in this work. Any future decisions on international student visa policy must not be based on the International Passenger Survey data."
Notes to editors