Theresa May, UK PM, did a volte-face by saying on 2 February that long-term immigration was not being affected by the presence of foreign students, giving rise to speculations that they may be excluded from the official immigration numbers.
Earlier, a vocal opponent of eliminating students from net migration numbers, her comments show that she was retracting from that stance.
May had been warning for several months that many overseas students overstay their visas by not going back home after completing their studies and stuck to her guns of not excluding them from immigration figures, saying it would hurt public confidence.
Even as a home secretary, she headed a clampdown on bogus educational institutions.
She was quoted by The Daily Mail as saying that students were included in the immigration numbers because of a migrant’s intentional definition
She added that around 900 colleges were no longer enrolling students as they were frequently being brought to work rather than to pursue education.
The change in May’s stance is being attributed to Amber Ruud’s, Home Secretary, caution that the Government may lose a vote in the House of Commons on the issue later in 2018 when the new Immigration Bill is tabled in Parliament.
The UK PM was also facing heat to change her stance from senior Cabinet members such as Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, Chancellor, and Greg Clark, Business Secretary.
According to universities, foreign students contribute nearly £11billion to the British economy, besides creating 170,000 jobs.
If you are looking to study in the UK, talk to Y-Axis, the world’s no.1 immigration and visa consultancy, to apply for a student visa.