SCOTLAND'S Colleges, the membership organisation that represents and promotes the college sector in Scotland, today welcomed the Home Affairs Committee’s recommendation that the UK Government shouldn’t include students in its targets to cut migration to the UK.
The UK government currently has a target to reduce the number of student visas issued by 25 per cent, in line with its wider policy of reducing migration to Britain. The Committee’s recommendation to exclude students from migration targets was based on the economic importance of foreign students to the UK, and the need for UK educational institutions to remain competitive internationally.
John Henderson, chief executive of Scotland’s Colleges, commented: “The Home Affairs Committee’s recommendations recognise the important contribution that international students make to the educational institutions, economy and culture of the whole of the United Kingdom. That is as true in our colleges as it is in our universities.
“The majority of colleges in Scotland recruit internationally. The current rules have affected their ability to do so, which not only impacts on colleges financially, but also reduces the diversity of the learning experience for students.
“There must be safeguards and confidence that visas are granted only to genuine students, but this must be achieved in ways other than the current rules.
“We hope that the UK Government implements the Committee’s recommendations as soon as possible.”
1. There are over 2,500 international students at colleges in Scotland.
2. 31 colleges in Scotland are currently able to sponsor migrant students, of which 17 have Highly Trusted Sponsor status.
3. For more information on Scotland’s Colleges, visit www.scotlandscolleges.ac.uk