UK student immigration 'vital'

10 Dec 2010 | Posted by Carl Thomas

It is vital that UK immigration policy enables international students to access universities within the country.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, expressed this view in response to the recent consultation on the reform of student immigration.

UK immigration minister Damian Green said earlier this week that the nation must "be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay".

Among the proposals outlined in the consultation paper are plans to reduce the number of people coming to the UK to study at below degree level and the introduction of more rigorous inspections of education establishments.

However, Ms Dandridge suggested that more information is required from the Home Office concerning the "different types of international students coming to study in the UK".

"This is essential when assessing how many students are coming in to study in different parts of the education sector and the value of the different type of students coming into the UK," she added.

According to the Home Office, 41 per cent of students coming to the UK under the Tier 4 student entry route are studying courses that are below degree level.

The Universities UK representative concluded: "International student mobility is crucial to the success of UK universities.

"It is vital that future student immigration policy is based on proper evidence and not anecdote."

The consultation will run for eight weeks in order to gather opinion on the student immigration reforms.