Leader: Now that's initiative

April 21, 2006

The second phase of the Prime Minister's Initiative on overseas students, announced this week, may be more than the sum of its somewhat insubstantial parts. Packing together a variety of programmes, most of which are already under way, the Government's contribution to an enterprise worth up to £20 billion reaches £ million. Australia is investing Pounds 48 million and the Netherlands £69 million. But the real value may be in the signal sent to other departments. Universities met the targets laid down in the first initiative well ahead of schedule, partly because officials' attitudes to applications for student visas was transformed. More of the same this time would make all the difference to universities now operating in a much more competitive market.

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