Stricter Controls on Student Immigration
The UK Government, since 2010, have had firm commitments to reduce net immigration in the UK. This has had some impact on the higher education sector particularly with the removal of post study work visas in 2012. These were visas that allowed international students to stay up to two years after they had finished studying to work in the UK.
As well as this, students are currently counted as part of the government’s net immigration targets; although universities and student campaigners have argued that they should be removed from these targets. They argue that international students are important to the UK and that they bring economic growth, knowledge and cultural exchange.
Particularly for LSE, a university that has a majority of international students and prides itself in its international reputation, the School believes that the UK should remain open to and actively encourage international students to study here.
The government has rejected calls to re-introduce the post study work visa and for calls to remove international students from immigration targets. In a recent speech, Home Secretary Amber Rudd stated that she will very much target students in a bid to reduce net immigration to the UK. With the recent vote to exit the European Union, this leaves international students at LSE with an uncertain future.
There have also been suggestions that the number of international students universities are allowed to recruit may be linked to the outcomes of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This could have a negative impact as it is unlikely that LSE will achieve the Gold outcome and therefore the School may be limited in the number of international students it is allowed to recruit.
The Students’ Union believes that international students are vital to LSE as an institution. The knowledge, experiences, and culture from the many international students studying at LSE should be protected. We believe that post study work visas should be reintroduced and that students should be taken out of immigration targets.
LSESU will oppose any future government attempts to target and reduce the number of international students coming to the UK. We will also oppose any attempts to link the international student numbers to TEF.