UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, recognised that international students make “significant economic and cultural contributions” to the higher education sector and the country. However, he did not say whether the UK should be attempting to recruit more. According to him, the UK wants to recruit “the best and brightest” international students.
He said to a committee of MPs that overseas students enrich the university experience for all.
The target that was set for 2030 was 600,000 students, which has been met several years early. It is a sign of success for the country. Anyhow, he did not refer to any plans of changing the target for 2030.
Robin Walker, the chair of the education select committee asked whether some institutions should draw more international students while others not, Sunak replied that he has not spoken about limiting international students at some institutions.
Gillian Keegan, the education minister was recently found to comment that the UK should focus on expansion and growth after reaching its target a decade early.
Suella Braverman, the UK home secretary commented that international students are supporting poor universities. This comment received heavy blows of criticism from international education stakeholders.
Sunak said that there is a global competition for talented students. The UK visa for highly skilled people is extremely competitive. Referring to the Graduate route visa for increased post-study work rights, he added that the reforms are intended to attract people to the country.
UUKi, however, has cautioned that the UK should not pursue growth at any cost. They should focus on sustainable growth while diversifying the international student body and maintaining the second rank as the most popular education destination.
The Prime Minister concluded by saying that the proper foundation of a migration system is based on the contribution of people when they are in the country and they must be contributing in one way or the other.
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Source: The PIE News