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Britain wants you! Why the UK should commit to increasing international student numbers

IPPR. Britain wants you! Why the UK should commit to increasing international student numbers. 2013. Pages: 50.

The contradictory approaches of the UK’s migration policy in opposition to its internationalisation of higher education agenda have rarely been put in contrast in such a striking way. The report by the Institute for Public Policy Research gives a detailed overview of the current state of affairs concerning migration policy for students. Divided in four parts, the first chapter on the policy context summarises the current legal background on immigration policy for international students, provides data, forecasts trends and puts all of this in contrast between the two contradictory aims – cutting net migration vs. increasing international student numbers. The second chapter highlights the impacts of international student migration on economy, as well as the incidents of visa abuse. Prospects for the future such as increasing international student numbers and high competition with other potential international study destinations are dealt with in the third chapter. In the last chapter, the authors make recommendations and call for a more coherent approach and cooperation between the Home Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The report is obviously heavily biased, but does not make any secret of this by publicly calling for an increase in international student numbers. Although the report only tackles the issue of inconsistency in the UK’s migration policy from one side exclusively, it raises some interesting points by advocating for the UK’s internationalisation agenda. Stressing the commercial benefits of an increased international student numbers, the authors do not only argue in favour of internationalisation of higher education, but also strongly advocate for post-study work rights. The report is considerably flawed by dismissing public anxiety about migration as irrational, Yet, it never claimed not to give a one-sided view on the issue of migration.

The report is available here.