Tougher students’ visa curbs could cost UK economy £900 million a year

Varsity and higher education sector annually contributes £500m to Scotland 26th July 2011: Even as the Government is determined to go ahead with tougher restrictions on student visas, it is now emerging that the action could eventually cost the UK economy £900 million a year in lost income.
Besides this, it will also put to serious financial risks the Scotland’s universities “because of the disproportionate size of the (higher education) sector in Scotland”.

In fact, the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee has in a significant report asserted that the university and higher education sector annually contributes approximately £500m in revenue to Scotland.

Foreign students accounted for three-quarters of all non-EU migrants in 2009. statistically speaking, their number was 139,000 out of total net migration figure of 184,000.

The committee apprehends that the impact of the Prime Minister’s proposals will eventually be felt greater in Scotland.
Speaking on behalf of the committee, chairman Ian Davidson insisted the higher education sector was extremely vital to Scotland.

“The detrimental impact of the Government’s proposals is therefore very worrying. Evidence from Scottish universities was clear: they will be adversely and unduly affected by these changes. This is particularly threatening for them at a time of great financial pressure,” said the MP for Glasgow South West.

Accepting the UK Government’s wish to cut down the level of non-EU immigrants, the committee said it fully comprehends  the attention to the students’ route because of sheer number of those who abuse the education system.

But, these “proposals risk compromising and diminishing not only the high standard of education provided by higher education institutions in Scotland but also threaten the valuable contribution of international students, who study at these institutions, to Scottish society.”

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