Submission to House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on international STEM students

20 February 2014

It is crucial that our visa system continues to support the efforts of our leading universities to attract the very best students, academics and researchers from around the world. 

Russell Group universities train many of the UK’s highly-skilled STEM graduates who are vitally important to the prosperity of the UK. While demand from international STEM students is still high, increases in overall international STEM student numbers mask differences between individual Russell Group institutions. We are concerned about possible future declines, particularly as further restrictions to immigration are introduced.

In order to signal that the UK’s doors are fully open to genuine international students, including STEM students, the Government should:

  • Introduce a longer post-study work period
  • Remove students from the healthcare levy and reconsider proposals to introduce landlord checks of tenants’ immigration status
  • Reduce the cost of a student visa to ensure parity with key competitor markets
  • Remove students from the net migration target
  • Prioritise removing caps on international student numbers in medicine and dentistry.

In addition to this, Government must ensure that STEM provision is sustainable and has sufficient funding. This is particularly important for the UK’s world-class research-intensive universities who produce such a high proportion of STEM graduates.

Submission to House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry on international STEM students

 

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