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Osborne must follow through on support for international students

01 Dec 2015

Following the Chancellor’s appearance this afternoon at the Treasury Select Committee, at which he suggested that the public were primarily concerned about “permanent migration” to the UK, while students “come and go”, the Institute of Directors reiterated its plea for international students to be excluded from the Government’s ‘tens of thousands’ net migration target.

Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy at the IoD, said:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s acknowledgement that most students who come to the UK to study are not permanent migrants.  Government must follow through on this undeniable logic and remove international students from the net migration target. The ONS already collect separate figures for students so it would be exceptionally easy to set them aside from the aspiration to reduce net migration to below 100,000 a year.

“Education, particularly higher education, is one of this country’s greatest success stories. Higher education is one of the UK’s biggest exports, adding over £10bn a year to our economy. If George Osborne wants to boost our universities and our economy, he should take this simple step as soon as possible.”

The IoD believes the Government’s approach to immigration is not working for businesses or the public and has called for a Comprehensive Immigration Review.

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