Head of the Institute of International Education, Allan Goodman, has called for the Government to be clearer on its message that it welcomes overseas students.
He told The Times Higher Education last week: “I’m concerned that the government’s visa and immigration policies are conveying an image to international students of ‘we don’t want you’.
He added: “Universities and the government have to speak with one voice. The message from the government is currently unclear. It needs to outline who is welcome, whether there is a cap and whether students count as immigrants.
He looked at the U.S as an example:
“In the US there is no ambiguity – students hear that message and the flow of international students into the US is continuing to grow. There is a danger the number in the UK will go down.”
The Office for National Statistics holds that net migration in the calendar year 2014 was 318,000, up 109,000 from 2013.
In a speech David Cameron made at the Home Office last week he said that there will be no cap on the number of overseas students studying in UK schools, colleges and universities are take. He said:
“Let me be clear: none of these measures will stop us from rolling out the red carpet for the brightest and the best, the talented workers and brilliant students who are going to help Britain succeed, as I’ve said before: no cap on the number of overseas students who come and study at our universities.”