It's time to take the brakes off international education

It is time for the government to take the brakes off international education and work with the sector to ensure the UK’s Higher Education sector is globally competitive

Today’s report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Students confirms what we already know: international students are an incredible economic, social and cultural asset for the UK and deserve to be treated as such by our government.

Over the last eight years, the UK’s international education sector and our economy have paid the price for the government’s restrictive policies and hostile rhetoric towards international students. It is time that the government showed full support for the UK’s seventh largest export market and implemented policies that will help kickstart the sector’s growth and restore its global competitiveness. 

The APPG’s report sets out twelve common sense proposals for the government to do just that. The recommendations include a cross-departmental strategy to grow international education; the use of better data on which to base policy; a review of the credibility interview process; and greater freedom for students to gain work experience after they study. Most importantly, the government’s rhetoric towards international students must be clear, consistent and wholly welcoming.

Jack Rivers, spokesperson for Destination for Education, commented:

“This report sets out a clear plan for the government, which should be accepted in full. Sadly, it is no surprise that the UK’s international education sector is falling behind global competitors. Australia is overtaking the UK and Canada is catching up with the UK too. This is the unfortunate result of our government’s restrictive policies and unhelpful rhetoric towards international students over the last few years.”

“It is in the government’s interest to work closely with the sector to reverse this trend and restore the competitiveness of what is a prestigious and profitable export for the UK. The upcoming immigration bill provides the government with the opportunity to do just that - our world-class universities and economy depends on it.”  

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Destination for Education is backed by a broad range of supporters, including: The UK’s leading universities; Pathway providers who help prepare international students for study in the UK; Business representatives; Campaign groups.