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Migration white paper lists NINE new obstacles for European students – and misses two more

  • 19 December 2018
  • By Nick Hillman

In response to the Home Office’s new migration white paper, Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:

The migration white paper puts new obstacles in the way of international students as well as researchers and other staff. Ministers have made great play of their commitment to exclude students from any migration limits. But that is a reannouncement of the existing position. It is clear students will stay in the published data and new restrictions are being placed on students from other European countries.

Buried away at the back of the white paper itself is a list of nine areas where European students will find it harder to study and work in the UK. Almost unbelievably, this list doesn’t cover the two biggest potential new barriers – higher fees and an end to student loan entitlement. We have previously shown that the expected increase in fees for students from other European countries and an end to their fee loan entitlement could cut the number of incoming European students by more than half.

Notes for Editors

  1. The white paper, The UK’s future skills-based immigration system, lists nine areas where there will be greater obstacles for European Economic Area students coming to the UK (pages 154-155):
    • Application for visa and payment of visa fee
    • Course level
    • Study pattern
    • Institutions on the list of registered sponsors
    • Proof of funds
    • Dependants
    • Employment rights
    • English language requirements
    • Post study work rights
  2. In January 2017, HEPI, Kaplan International Pathways and London Economics jointly produced a report showing that harmonising the rules for EU and non-EU students could reduce enrolments from other EU countries by 57% – see
  3. The Higher Education Policy Institute’s mission is to ensure that higher education policy-making is better informed by evidence and research. We are UK-wide, independent and non-partisan.



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