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BMA briefing: Immigration policy for international students

The BMA briefed MPs and Peers ahead of debates on the application of immigration policy to international students.

Recent reports, and announcements such as the speech made by the Home Secretary at the Conservative Party conference in October 2016, suggest that the government plans to impose further restrictions on the number of international students who can come to the UK in an attempt to reduce ‘net migration’ to below 100,000.

This follows the introduction of earlier policies by the government (such as the abolition of the post study work visa) to make it more difficult for international students to remain in the UK following completion of their studies, thereby seeking to ‘break the link’ between studying and settling to work in the UK.

The BMA opposes further restrictions on international students coming to the UK and we oppose the inclusion of international students in the net migration figures. International students make a significant economic and cultural contribution to the UK bringing income, influence and generating employment in the UK. They contribute £7 billion to the UK economy and to public services through tax receiptsalone.

There is a danger that the imposition of ever tougher immigration restrictions will deter students from wanting to study in the UK at all- this would be to the financial, economic and cultural detriment of UK medical schools, UK universities, research institutes and wider society.

 

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Immigration policy for international students

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