Business leader and university heads of the UK have intensified their calls for students not to be included in immigration figures. This comes in the event of indications that the Parliament and the Cabinet are forcing Theresa May, UK Premier, to relent by dropping her tough stance.
Meanwhile, Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, has cautioned the PM that their government may probably be defeated if MPs seek an amendment calling for a change in the rules.
Ruth Davidson, a Scottish Conservative leader, tweeted on 1 January to pressing May to give up the ‘counterproductive’ policy, confirming reports that Conservative MPs of Scotland met Rudd privately in December seek a change in the government’s stance.
Rudd was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying that adding students to the immigration figures was counterproductive, contorted and would send entirely the wrong signals.
On 2 January, it was unequivocally stated by government sources that May was against any change, with the belief that overseas student arrivals must be included as migrants in order for public services to be properly planned.
On the other hand, the Immigration Bill scheduled for 2018 would give fodder for her critics to press for the first parliamentary vote with regard to this issue since May’s majority narrowed in the general election of 2017.
May’s colleagues like Rudd, Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, Greg Clark, Business Secretary, and Chancellor Philip Hammond are arguing that the government should introduce a policy of welcoming overseas students, with whose fees university research departments are funded and talent for companies is also provided.
Mark Hilton, immigration director at London First, a business lobby group, said students from abroad contribute hugely to the UK. He said that in London alone, the total net benefit they deliver is £2.3 billion per year, provide valuable talent for businesses of that city and generate 70,000 jobs.
According to Universities UK, foreign students contributed more than £25 billion and create 200,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, leaders of higher educational institutions said that many university courses would have to shut down if international students are not joining them and a lot of income would be lost.
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