Immigration policy makes students ‘feel less welcome’

The coalition’s aim to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands” by 2015 makes more than half of international students in the UK feel less welcome, according to a new survey.

June 24, 2013

The survey of 510 students from more than 100 institutions, carried out by polling firm YouthSight for Regents University London, suggests that the public debate around immigration is harming international students’ perception of the UK.

Fifty-three per cent of students from Asia and 46 per cent from North America said the policy made them feel less welcome.

Aldwyn Cooper, Regents vice-chancellor, said that the migration policy “risks alienating overseas students in the UK”.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has repeatedly stressed that despite the overall target to cut net migration, there is no actual cap on the number of students who can come to the UK.

The survey, carried out in May this year, also found that four in ten international students spend most of their time with students from their own country. At Russell Group universities, the proportion was 47 per cent.

Professor Cooper said that this showed international students were often “left in de facto ghettos, rarely mixing outside their national groups”.

Almost a third of those students surveyed said that their university was only interested in the fees they pay, which are typically much higher than those of domestic and EU students.

However 83 per cent said that they were happy with the quality of their course.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance