British universities at risk as international student enrollment takes a plunge


Britain should refrain from imposing additional limitations on international student admissions, or it could risk the viability of some universities, according to a report commissioned by the government, which was released on Tuesday. This warning comes as there has been a significant drop in the number of foreign students enrolling for the upcoming year.

The topic of legal migration has been a significant aspect of British political discussions and was a key factor in the Brexit vote of 2016.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration has been actively working to decrease the influx of students, along with care workers and low-wage employees, into Britain. Measures have included restrictions on some post-graduate students from bringing their families.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee, which advises the government, reported a 63% decrease in international postgraduate students placing deposits for studies in Britain this coming September, following visa restrictions on education.

The committee cautioned that more limitations on the graduate route, which permits foreign students to work in Britain for two years post-graduation, could result in job losses, course cancellations, and the potential failure of some educational institutions.

Britain is renowned for its prestigious universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial College London, which are celebrated for enhancing innovation, fostering creativity, and serving as a soft power tool, given their alumni include numerous global leaders.

The review was initiated by the government amidst allegations of misuse of the graduate visa route. Several British politicians have voiced concerns about students applying for visas only to seek asylum or stay beyond their permits.

Cabinet minister Esther McVey criticized on Monday that some British universities are prioritizing immigration over education for international students.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Sunak stated that the government is reviewing the report and will issue a response, while also expressing worries about the graduate visa scheme, noting that over 40% of international graduates either remain unemployed or earn less than 15,000 pounds ($18,834) annually post-graduation.

Despite concerns, the Migration Advisory Committee found no significant evidence of abuse of the graduate route. Students from India, Nigeria, China, and Pakistan make up 70% of the recipients of these visas.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has expressed that British universities are a major export success for the country and, with assurances from the Migration Advisory Committee about the integrity of the system, it is crucial to secure its future and end harmful speculations.__Pakistan Today