It’s hard to understand why the Home Office is persisting with this drive to reduce international students (“UK ‘modelling significant cut’ in overseas student numbers”, 24 November). Ministers were pressed on this last week; what was the problem?
Their answer seems to be past issues about genuine students and the net migration target. While it may be true that there were fake students in 2009, are they saying that’s true now? It would be a serious indictment of the previous home secretary.
On net migration, we know that students aren’t really migrants – they come and go. If the government really wants to measure the effect, they should be looking at those over-staying or transferring to tier 2. Home Office ministers get caught on the logic that there’s no cap on student numbers, but if they are reducing that net migration figure including students, then they’ll have to cap student numbers.
This is the government’s worst policy, which, given the likes of the Ministry of Defence planning to have aircraft carriers without planes escorted by frigates without missiles, is saying something.