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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Government ideology could send universities into bankruptcy

Whoever thought that excluding overseas students from “low-quality” degrees as a means of controlling immigration was a good idea, needs to go back to school.

The Independent reports that the suggestion that non-British students would only be allowed a place at an “elite” university, could mean only London, Cambridge and Oxford will be able to enroll them from now on. However, the chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, who is also a King’s College professor, has pointed out that foreign students keep many universities afloat in less prosperous places, a point that is obvious to anybody who understands university finances:

He warned the government: “If you’re interested in the levelling up agenda, you might want to worry about harming universities around Britain.”

Prof Bell told BBC Radio 4 a harsh crackdown “could send many universities over the edge”, without a “massive increase” in fees paid by British students.

“Most universities, for most courses, lose money on teaching British students and offset that loss by charging more for international students,” he said.

“If you close down the international route, I’m not sure how the university continues to survive.”

As Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour Party, says: “When we look at our university sector, it’s responsible for some of the biggest amounts of export revenue of any part of our economy.

“It is important that we have that proud tradition of students coming from other countries, to our nation to study, they then can become ambassadors actually, for our country, when they go back home.”

And Vivienne Stern, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “Cutting international student numbers would run directly counter to the government’s strategy to rebuild the economy – given the huge financial contribution they make to every part of the country.”

Once more the Tories are allowing ideology to blind them to what is good for our economy.
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