More and more students are staying away from the UK.
The latest quarterly figures reveal 11 per cent dip in student visas compared with a year previously. A dip of a 17 per cent has also been registered in work visas for the same period.
Even though the UK earns substantially from its foreign students, Immigration Minister Damian Green is projecting the statistics to highlight the success of the government policies.
He said: 'The beneficial effects of these policies are just beginning to show up, with an 11 per cent fall in student visas and a 17 per cent fall in work visas in the latest quarterly figures compared with a year previously.' He was speaking at the Policy Exchange.
The assertion comes at a time when apprehensions have been expressed by the universities that the visa restrictions are driving international students away from the UK varsities.
Only recently Leeds businessman and the chairman of the Asian Business Development Network Arshad Chaudhry asserted restricting students, along with skilled workers, and entrepreneurs from non-EU counties will not help an already struggling economy out of its malaise.
Estimates suggest tougher restrictions on student visas could eventually cost the UK economy £900 million a year in lost income.
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.
It is also a well established fact that the 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. The UK needs to adopt a more liberal approach towards them.