Home News UK Report Advises International Student Cap

UK Report Advises International Student Cap


The number of international students in the UK should be capped and the graduate visa should be abolished immediately, according to a new report by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), an influential right-wing thinktank.

The report, Taking Back Control, billed as a comprehensive survey of the UK’s immigration system, also says that universities where “there is evidence of sustained abuse” should also be prevented from being able to sponsor student visas at all, says, which adds that the London-based satellite campuses of “provincial” universities should be subjected to particular scrutiny as they are said to offer master’s courses “of dubious quality”.

The report was co-authored by Conservative MP Neil O’Brien, who has become one of the biggest critics of the UK’s post-study work options. Scrapping the visa outright is therefore a central recommendation of the report.

Universities should also be held “accountable for their international students”, the report recommends, and “where there is evidence of sustained abuse”, which could include very high dropout rates, low attendance, and a drop in academic standards, “they should be struck off the list of licensed study visa sponsors.”

“We should focus initially on reviewing the 18 satellite campuses of non-London universities in London, which are geared towards international students on master’s courses of dubious quality”, it says.

These universities should “reorient towards educating and training the local or regional population, rather than trying to educate the rest of the world”, the report adds.

The survey recommends that the “arbitrary” target of attracting 600,000 international students a year be “substantially revised” to “focus on quality over quantity.”

“Student immigration is popular because the public believes in attracting the best and brightest students from across the globe, allowing them to study at Britain’s world-class universities, and then return home,” said Karl Williams, the thinktank’s research director and report co-author.

“Unfortunately, the reality is the routes are being abused – often the courses foreign students enroll on are low quality, dropout rates are high, and many students end up staying for the long term after their studies, often in low paid work.

“The reforms we outline will put parliament in control of the overall number of study visas issued, rather than effectively leaving it up to the universities. They will also reduce the potential for abuse – ensuring those who come to Britain on study visas are genuinely here to study, and not as a backdoor to full-time work.”

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