A policy of including foreign students in UK immigration figures could be scrapped, according to the prime minister.
Theresa May has suggested that the policy has already had the desired effect of reducing the abuse of the UK visa system, hinting that she could drop it from legislation.
The Prime Minister originally took her tough stance towards foreign student visas when she was home secretary, targeting those who arrive in Britain after gaining a place at a low-grade or fake institution before going to seek work illegally.
However, speaking in China, Ms May suggested that many of the colleges in question had now been closed and the arrival of foreign students in Britain is now longer having a significant impact on UK immigration figures.
“It was important to look at what was happening with students in the UK when I was home secretary,” she said. “Once you see that abuse out of the system, students coming in for the period of their education and then leaving actually wash through the numbers – they don’t have a long-term impact on the numbers.”
A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last year confirmed this, revealing that there are no longer long-term issues concerning students overstaying UK visas.