Responding to the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways research commissioned from London Economics on the financial contributions of international students, Shadow Higher and Further Education Minister Gordon Marsden MP said:
“Today’s report underlines everything Labour and the sector have been saying about the vital contribution international students’ play to our universities’ and the economy.
“The Home Office have consistently risked damaging our world-class HE sector and international brand through their hostile attitude towards international students. As HEPI have pointed out, the Government’s strategy and targets are meagre and neglect the opportunities for HE at FE Colleges.
“With their continuing restrictions on post-study work rights and their new decision to introduce a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 in the Immigration bill, the Government are putting at risk our universities competitiveness against rivals across the world.
“This new research clearly shows the benefits international students have for our economy. Government should put in place a system that encourages growth and ensures the UK is a welcoming destination post Brexit.
“Right now this Government needs to act swiftly to prevent a looming disaster for up to 17,000 young people about to do a year abroad on Erasmus+. The huge uncertainties over Brexit threaten their funding and accommodation arrangements, whilst UK Universities are also losing out on prospective EU students because of a lack of Government guarantees about remaining in the programme. This situation could have a devastating impact for both students and UK institutions.