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Theresa May on international students

August 25, 2016

The Times reports today that Theresa May’s government is looking at ways ‘to examine how to reduce the number of international students coming to the UK’. This will require universities to develop funding models ‘not so dependent on international students’. (I teach once a week in one where 30% of its income comes from international fees).

It’s worth recalling the speech May made when she was Home Secretary to the 2012 Conservative Party conference. This took her spat with the BIS ministers public at the height the London Metropolitan University visa controversy.

They argue that more immigration means more economic growth. But what they mean is more immigration means a bigger population – there isn’t a shred of evidence that uncontrolled, mass immigration makes us better off.

… They argue, too, that we need evermore students because education is our greatest export product. I agree that we need to support our best colleges and universities and encourage the best students to come here – but to say importing more and more immigrants is our best export product is nothing but the counsel of despair.

We were elected on a promise to cut immigration, and that is what I am determined we will deliver.


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