More than half of overseas students (52%) say the government's immigration cap makes them feel less welcome in the UK, new research has revealed.
University and College Union (UCU) said the poll of 500 students added to concerns that government efforts to sound tough on immigration to a domestic audience was having a detrimental impact around the world.
The research found that overseas students are happy with their course (83%) and said UK higher education is highly respected around the world (94%). More than four-fifths of overseas students are happy with the quality of teaching (81%) and the level of support from teachers (82%).
UCU president, Simon Renton, said: “The government either does not realise the damage its rhetoric on immigration is doing to our standing on the global stage, or it doesn't care.
“We have built up a reputation for excellence and welcoming the brightest brains from across the world to our universities. The government needs to be really careful it does not undo all that hard work by trying to talk tough on immigration to a domestic audience.”
Renton said it was a mistake for the government to decide to include overseas students in the immigration cap.