Migration, Universities and Global Britain

The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, The Home Secretary, has said that students should be removed from the Government’s migration targets (https://www.ft.com/content/1c51a9dc-c3c3-11e7-a1d2-6786f39ef675).

She is absolutely right.

UK higher education is a success story. We are the second most popular country in the world in the market for overseas students (after the USA). Non-UK students make up 23 per cent of all first-year students at UK universities.

Our universities can help to make the aspiration of a ‘global Britain’ a reality. Education is the UK’s fifth largest service export sector and the market for international higher education is expanding. If we remove students from the Government’s net migration target, establish an immigration system that fast tracks students to the UK, confirm the rights of existing EU citizens studying and working in the UK and create post-study work opportunities for overseas students, then our universities can win a larger share of the international higher education market.

Removing students from the Government’s migration targets is good for students, good for universities and good for the UK.