The British government is trying to reduce migration, which could affect the ability of international students to study in Britain.
LONDON – Foreign students who want to study in Britain may be turned away if they do not secure a place at a “top university”, according to a report in The Times.
Ministers are said to have discussed how to reduce flows to the UK after record levels of net migration were reported on Thursday.
There will also be limits on how many family members students can bring into the country with them, according to the report. The rules will also only apply to international students who are not already living in the UK
Around 1.1 million people arrived in the UK in the year to June, with around 560,000 emigrating in the same period, bringing net migration to a record 504,000 people, according to the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.
The announced plans to discourage international students from studying in Britain appear to be at odds with the government’s 2019 International Growth Strategy, which aimed to increase the number of international students studying in the UK to 600,000 each year by 2030.
This target was reached in the 2020/21 academic year, when more than 605,000 non-UK students enrolled in higher education, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The strategy was originally introduced to “support the UK education sector to access global opportunities”, according to the government’s website.
A Home Office spokesman said there would be no comment on “speculation” surrounding the idea that international students may be prevented from entering the UK.
But it provided a statement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who said it was “understandable” that record numbers of people had traveled to the UK in light of the war in Ukraine, evacuations in Afghanistan and the crackdown on rights in Hong Kong. but that the British public “rightly expects” migration to decrease over time.
“This level of migration has put pressure on accommodation and the supply of housing, health, education and other public services. We need to ensure a sustainable, balanced and controlled approach, which is why we continue to review our immigration policy,” Braverman said. in the statement.
“Addressing the increase in dangerous and illegal crossings and stopping the abuse of our system remains my priority. It is vital that we restore public confidence and take back control of our borders,” she wrote.
The Conservative government launched a series of initiatives after pledging in its 2019 manifesto to reduce net migration to the UK, including its controversial plans to deport migrants to Rwanda and deals with France to target small boat crossings.