Are students immigrants?

House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee raises question
26th July 2011: Are students immigrants? The vital question has been raised by the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee.
It has a logic behind the assertion. Questioning whether the students should even be classed as immigrants, the committee insists “they are the least likely to wish to stay permanently and least likely to bring dependents”.

The query comes at a time when the Government plan to impose a maximum five-year limit on any student visa.

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has all along been insisting there is a logic and a reason behind the reforms the government is making to the student visa system. It is to stop abuse and bring net migration down to sustainable levels.

He believes it is the primary motivation of too many so-called students to come to the UK in order to work, rather than study, and that too many institutions are providing an immigration service rather than an educational one.

`We want legitimate students only, to study at legitimate colleges and universities,’ he has asserted.

The query is significant as it is already acknowledged that foreign students make the UK a more diverse place. They bring in revenue, and repute. They go back home well read and better educated. And bring about changes in the existing system their native lands.

Critics of the government policies believe the UK tends to gain much by taking the students out of the category of immigrants in terms of finances and repute.  

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