Free them from the net

April 26, 2012

Edward Acton's suggestion that international students be removed from net migration figures should be adopted if the UK is to build on one of its strongest exports ("Why so prickly?", 19 April). Indeed, David Willetts seems keen to see the sector grow: he announced at the Higher Education Funding Council for England annual conference this year that the UK had only "scratched the surface" of the market and that we needed to position ourselves to take advantage of the growth in the global sector - Unesco forecasts more than 100 million more higher education students by 2025.

This strategic positioning will need to be well publicised if it is to counter the damage done by the coalition's seemingly endless Tier 4 revisions. More importantly, it must be approached consistently by all government departments. At the moment, Willetts and Cable v May and Green is leading to repeated triumphs for the Home Office and the UK Border Agency, as the government at large seems happy to stifle the growth of a sector just to satisfy an immigration mandate.

If even MigrationWatch UK is in favour of legitimate education tourists, as Acton says, we should be welcoming them with open arms.

James Pitman, Managing director, HE - UK and Europe, Study Group

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show