University backs campaign for Government rethink on immigration policy

The University of Wolverhampton is backing a campaign to urge the Government to do more to support international student recruitment.

The University is one of 68 institutions to have signed a letter sent to Prime Minister, David Cameron today as part of an initiative led by Universities UK.

It is in response to recent Government immigration policy which places restrictions on international students coming into the country as they are now included in calculations of net migration.

Changes to the Student Visa system placed a limit on the number of years non-European Union students can spend studying and restricted the number of hours of paid work they can do during and after their degrees.

In addition, they are no longer allowed to bring their spouses or children with them unless they are enrolled on a postgraduate course that lasts more than a year.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “I do not think the cultural, social and economic benefits international students bring to the UK can be underestimated.

“At a time when the UK is looking to strengthen its position in the global economy and seeking to promote internationalisation, it is bemusing that effectively international students are being restricted in coming here to study.

“What also should be considered is the influence that this country has on educating people from around the world and the impact that has.

“We have got a fantastic international student community and tradition at Wolverhampton and genuine international students need to be welcomed with open arms and valued. Otherwise they will choose to study elsewhere and that will be a significant disadvantage to universities and the cities in which they are based.”

The letter, signed by the University of Wolverhampton Chancellor, the Rt Hon Lord Paul of Marylebone, PC, backs calls for international university students to be removed from net migration statistics for policy purposes, bringing the UK into line with its major competitors.

It also urges the Government to make a clear distinction between temporary and permanent migration in order to “help the UK maintain its position as a world-leader in international higher education and send out the message that the UK welcomes, and values, genuine international students.”

ENDS

For media inquiries please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003

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