New polls from Universities UK and The Times reveal that international students are welcomed by majority of British public


Cutting international student numbers will not address public immigration concerns (Universities UK, 13.10.16)

A new poll conducted by ComRes for Universities UK reveals that international university students are not viewed as migrants by the majority of the British public and two-thirds also don’t want to see their numbers reduced. The poll shows that only 24% of British adults think of international students as migrants and of those that expressed a view, 75% say that would like to see the same numbers, or more international students in the UK. This figure jumped to 87% once information on the economic benefits of international students was provided. The poll also reveals that 91% of the British public think that international students should be able to stay and work in the UK for a period of time after their have completed their studies. You can read the full findings of the poll in the UUK press release here.

Foreign students are welcomed by overwhelming majority of voters (The Times, 14.10.16)

A second, similar poll conducted by YouGov for The Times suggests that voters do not share ministers’ negative views of international students. The results show that five times more people think that international students at British universities have a positive impact than think they have a negative effect. Almost half of voters want the government to encourage more overseas students to study at British universities, while fewer than a third say they should be deterred. Overall, many more people were sympathetic than hostile to overseas students. Asked for their view of the impact of international students on universities, 51 per cent said this was a positive one and just 9 per cent held a negative view. In a similar vein to the UUK polling, another question asked if foreign students should be allowed to stay in Britain for a limited period to look for a graduate-level job, in line with current practice — 54 per cent said yes and 28 per cent said no. The full article can be found online here.