UEL calls on Cameron to take foreign students off immigration statistics

The University of East London has put its name to a letter to the Prime Minister urging the government to support efforts to recruit genuine students from abroad.

It is backing calls for students to be removed from net migration statistics for policy purposes and make a clear distinction between temporary and permanent visitors to help Britain “maintain its position as a world-leader in international higher education.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick McGhee said: “We stand firmly behind this lobbying effort and hope David Cameron takes heed of our concerns about the impact of the immigration policy on students.”

The university, however, welcomes measures to improve UK border controls to counter abuse of the student visa route—but points out that students from abroad bring long-term political and social benefits.

The letter is signed by nearly 70 university chancellors and chairs of council around Britain, as well as business leaders, peers from all major parties and other prominent figures from the arts and media in their roles as chancellors or chairs.