Responding to comments from the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, on Radio 4’s Todayprogramme, that the government will try to make it harder for international students to study in the UK and then stay here to work, Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy at the Institute of Directors said:
“The Business Secretary’s proposals to eject foreign students after graduation are misguided and would damage the British education system, our economy and global influence.
“The UK is a world leader in higher education. The reputation of our institutions draws the brightest and the best from all over the world, bringing in billions of pounds every year and building lifelong trade ties which benefit our businesses for years to come. Other countries welcome such students. Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for them to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished.
“Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills. Shutting the door to highly-trained international graduates at a time when our economy needs them most would be hugely damaging for UK businesses. In the interests our education sector, our businesses, and our international standing, the Business Secretary should reconsider this proposal.”