Overseas students’ impact on the UK to be reviewed

International students’ effect on the UK labour market is to be assessed by independent migration advisors.

International students’ effect on the UK labour market is to be assessed by independent migration advisors.

Picture: Alamy

The government has announced it has commissioned an expert review on the contribution of European Union (EU) and non-EU students to the economy and jobs sector.

The assessment will consider the effects of tuition fees and other spending by international students on the local, regional and national economies, and education sector.

It will also look at the impact of recruitment of these students on the provision and quality of education to domestic students.

The RCN has confirmed it will respond to the consultation, which is being run by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

The study was announced by home secretary Amber Rudd as figures revealed net migration had fallen for the lowest level for three years, at 246,000 – largely due to a drop in EU migration.

Ms Rudd said: ‘There is no limit to the number of genuine international students who can come to the UK to study and the fact that we remain the second most popular global destination for those seeking higher education is something to be proud of.

Evidence base

‘We understand how important students from around the world are to our higher education sector, which is a key export for our country, and that’s why we want to have a robust and independent evidence base of their value and the impact they have.’

Last week’s A-level results show a fall in the number of EU students who are taking places, yet a rise in the number of non-EU overseas students accepting them.

The number of EU students placed on A-level results day was 26,090, a fall of 3% compared with 2016 but still the second highest recorded. The number of international students accepted increased by 4% to 30,350, according to figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

For nursing, there were 290 applicants from the EU placed on results day – a fall of 14% on 2016. International applicant acceptances doubled, from 30 in 2016 to 60 this year.

The UK is the second most favoured destination for international students, according to the Home Office.

The MAC is a group of internationally recognised migration experts. Its consultation closes on 27 October and will report back in September 2018.

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