Foreign students to reportedly be barred from UK unless studying at top universities

The UK government is looking to reduce immigration, which could affect the ability of international students to study in the UK.

LONDON – Foreign students who want to study in Britain could be turned away if they don’t have a place at a top university, according to a report in The Times.

Ministers were said to be discussing how to reduce the flow to Britain after Thursday’s report of record levels of net migration.

There will also be limits on how many family members students can bring into the country, according to the report. The rules also only apply to international students who do not live in the UK

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Around 1.1 million people arrived in the UK in the year to June, with around 560,000 leaving in the same period, leaving net migration at a record high of 504,000, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

The reported plans to stop international students from studying in the UK appear to be at odds with the government’s International Growth Strategy from 2019, which aims to increase the number of international students in the UK to 600,000 annually by 2030.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, this target was reached in the 2020/21 academic year when more than 605,000 non-UK students enrolled in higher education.

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According to the government’s website, the strategy was originally set out to “support the UK education sector to access global opportunities”.

A Home Office spokesman said there was no comment on “speculation” about the idea of ​​banning international students from entering the UK.

However, it delivered a statement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who said the record number of people traveling to Britain was “understandable” in light of the war in Ukraine, evacuations in Afghanistan and the crackdown on rights in Hong Kong. but the British public “rightly expects” the decrease of emigration over time.

Braverman said: “This level of immigration has put pressure on housing and the provision of housing, health, education and other public services. We must make sure that we have a stable, balanced and controlled approach, so we will keep our immigration policy under review. we have”. in the statement.

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“My priority remains combating the increase in dangerous and illegal crossings and preventing abuse of our system. It is imperative that we restore public confidence and regain control of our borders.”

The Conservative government has launched a series of initiatives after pledging to reduce net migration to the UK in its 2019 manifesto, including controversial plans to deport migrants to Rwanda and a deal with France to target small boat crossings.

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