UK aims for more international students

UK aims for more international students
Published:  30 Jul at 9 AM
A UK government initiative launched yesterday aims to increase the numbers of overseas students enrolled at academic institutions in the country. The programme called International Education, Global Growth and Prosperity has been designed to attract 20 per cent more foreign students than current numbers.

According to the Times Higher Education supplement, this percentage translates into an extra 90,000 foreign students who could be coming to the UK. The government says the target figure is feasible under the visa regulations in force at present.

The government says it hopes to reach the targets over the next five years and to increase the £10 billion that overseas students contributed to the economy in the 2011-2012 academic year. Government figures for the year show international students in the UK paid tuition fees totalling £3.9 billion and another £6.3 billion for accommodation and day-to-day living expenses.

The aim of attracting ever more international students to the UK seems to fly in the face of the government’s avowed intention of slashing the number of immigrants from 150,000 last year to a fraction of that amount. Universities and science minister David Willetts was on hand at the London launch ceremony to field questions from the media.

Responding to questions about how the increased amount of students would affect the new net migration targets, the minister said genuine students would always be welcome. He continued by saying the coalition administration had no plans to introduce a limit on the amount of overseas students allowed into the UK.