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Sunak's curb on foreign students rejected by UK's Education Department

The Telegraph, the government plans to reduce the number of foreign students enrolled in the UK. Previously, it had prohibited foreign postgraduate students taking non-research courses from bringing family members into the country.

The report says that Suella Braverman diluted her plans to reduce the number of foreign students studying in the UK because she was worried that doing so would raise tuition costs for British students.

Division for Training (DfE) hindered the House Secretary’s longing for extremist cuts by contending that worldwide understudies “finance” home expenses, the report said.

It comes as the most recent distributed figures show that unfamiliar understudy expenses made up 21% of UK colleges‘ general pay in 2021-22.

As annual net migration reached 606,000, the UK recently announced new restrictions limiting the ability of foreign students to bring family members to the country.

Only students going to the UK for postgraduate research courses can bring their dependents starting next year.

Braverman stated, “Too many students coming into this country who are propping up, frankly, substandard courses in inadequate institutions” at the Conservative Party conference the previous year.

Telegraph reports that Suella Braverman also plans to limit how long students can stay in the country after they finish their education. The government had also considered limiting international recruitment to only elite universities in the past.

However, the Department of Education deflected the proposals by privately announcing that a decline in international students would necessitate either higher British tuition fees or additional funding from taxpayers.

Inflation has significantly reduced the value of tuition fees for students studying in England since 2017 when they were frozen at £9,250.

A DfE source said, “Where do you think the money comes from to subside these tuition fees? It’s from the international students.”

In addition, they stated that the department did not anticipate any further restrictions and had “reached a good compromise” with the Home Office.

Similar arguments have also been made by universities against reducing the number of foreign students.

Last month, Jamie Arrowsmith, director of Universities UK International, which represents British higher education establishments on the international stage, stated that foreign students were filling funding gaps.

He stated that they were “enabling universities to offer a much wider range of courses than would otherwise be viable and, increasingly, cross-subsidizing the teaching of home undergraduate students, which, thanks to recent high inflation levels, now makes a loss even in England” in the foreword to a report produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute think tank.

The Telegraph was informed by a senior university official who did not wish to be identified that the announcement regarding dependents “could have been a lot, lot worse.”

“It’s the main thing [the government] could pull off in light of the fact that the effect of additional worldwide decrease is horrendous for the sector.”

They said that unfamiliar understudy charges were “key to the subsidizing game plans of each and every college in the country”.

Universities will fail if we stop international students tomorrow.”



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