Government's International Education Strategy

29 July 2013

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s International Education Strategy, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group said:

“We welcome the recognition the Government has given to the value of international education by publishing this new strategy. International students make a vital contribution to the success of our universities both academically and financially. The new report highlights over £10 billion in income for the UK from international students’ tuition fees and living expenses alone in the HE sector and we estimate that at least £4 billion of this is generated by those at Russell Group universities.

“We are pleased the Government has again confirmed there is no cap on the number of overseas university students and no current plans to introduce a cap. However, we are concerned that some of the proposed policy changes to immigration rules such as the introduction of credibility interviews and charging for access to the NHS may be perceived negatively overseas.

“If we are to maintain our place as a global leader in higher education then the UK must continue to attract the very best talent from around the world and show that its doors are open to genuine international students. The welcome that students and potential students receive from the UK is therefore critical to our ability to grow this important sector of the economy. The Home Office, BIS and other parts of Government must work together closely to ensure the UK not only provides a fair and efficient immigration system for international students but also communicates this effectively overseas.

“In championing the new strategy it will be important for the new International Education Council (IEC) to work in the same way as other industrial strategy councils. These councils typically have many leading businesses as members of their Boards and we would hope that the IEC will similarly involve leading universities.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Government's International Education Strategy can be read here.

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