Home truths

June 13, 2013

Christopher Phelps argues for the benefits of immigration, but in the wider labour market, as Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has observed, migration of unskilled labour leads to lower wages for unskilled workers in the developed world (“Increase the volume of expert voices to answer UKIP’s sound and fury”, Opinion, 6 June).

What is the picture in the UK higher education sector? What should our priority be? Should it be to focus on raising revenue by recruiting overseas students, or should UK universities have as their main purpose the higher education of UK students?

In effect, the current strategy is to focus on recruiting overseas students and to limit access domestically by imposing greatly increased tuition fees. Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that the strategy is working. The total number of students in the UK sector fell by 0.2 per cent from 2010-11 to 2011-12, while the number of overseas students rose by 1.6 per cent. The overall decrease was due entirely to a decline in the number of UK students.

Surely we should prioritise the recruitment of home students. This would encourage more of our young people to develop their talents to the utmost and provide this country with the educated young people we need for our future.

Will Podmore
The British School of Osteopathy

 

Christopher Phelps fails to appreciate the irony of his comment as a US citizen that migration from Eastern Europe, being a matter of European Union policy, is “beyond the [UK] government’s capacity to control it”.

Wasn’t there a country a long while ago that fought a war against foreign control of its domestic policies? Now I remember: the American Revolution against British rule.

Vincent Barnett
Harrow

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