An Early Day Motion (EDM) on international students was submitted yesterday by Labour MP Virenda Sharma, highlighting the important role of international students in the UK higher education sector and registering concerns about reports of mass deportations of these students. The EDM, titled ‘International Student Visas’, can be viewed on the Parliament website here. It reads as follows:
“That this House notes the important role of international students in the UK higher education sector; further notes that 68,550 international students studied in the UK in 2015; recognises that international students contribute a net value of £2.3 billion a year to the economy, along with a great cultural investment; is concerned about reports of mass deportations of international students; is further concerned that current policy is making the UK a less welcoming place for international students; urges the Government to halt any ongoing programmes of such deportations; and calls on the Government to reassess the criteria by which it grants student visas.”
There are currently three signatories of the EDM, with Labour’s Alan Meale MP and the SNP’s Martyn Day MP joining Virenda Sharma MP in signing.
In actual fact, the contribution of international students is much greater the the 68,550 figure quoted, with the 2014-15 figures from HESA putting the number of international students who studied in higher education in the UK at 436,585 or 312,010 for just non-EU students.