Dyson latest to criticise May plans

James Dyson has become the latest to criticise plans mooted by home secretary Theresa May’s to send overseas graduates home after their course

January 5, 2015

Source: Eva Rinaldi

The business leader and inventor said Ms May’s plans were “short sighted”and maintained that the UK needed to “remain open to the world’s best”.

Writing in a comment piece in The Guardian on 5 January, Mr Dyson labelled the proposals a “short-term vote winner that leads to long-term economic decline”.

“Bright sparks are drawn to the UK for good reason – our universities are among the best in the world. Particularly for science and engineering. Yet the Home Office wants to say cheerio to these sharp minds as soon as their mortarboards land on college lawns,” he said.

Under the proposals, which it was reported Ms May was pushing to be included in the Tory general election manifesto, graduates on a student visa would be required to leave the UK before applying for another visa of any kind.

However, Mr Dyson argued the UK was already “painfully” short of postgraduate students, and as such the country should not give them reason to take their ideas abroad and “create competition overseas”.

He is the latest prominent figure to attack May’s plans, with several others having criticised them, including her Conservative colleage David Willets, the former universities and science minister, who called them “mean-spirited”.

Universities UK also described Ms May’s proposals as “damaging” – with chief executive, Nicola Dandridge, saying they would harm the UK’s ability to stay competitive.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper today expressed her support for Mr Dyson’s article. She said Ms May’s plans would be “bad for the British economy”, and that they “show the Tories are completely muddled about immigration”.

“Telling all foreign postgraduates they have to leave the country immediately even if their top international talent is badly needed by postgraduate scientific research centres, the NHS or our world-class businesses is counterproductive and will hurt our economy and public services,” she said.

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