The UK government is looking to reduce immigration, which could affect the ability of international students to study in Britain.
LONDON – Foreign students who want to study in Britain could be turned away unless they get a place at a “top university”, according to a report in The Times newspaper.
Ministers are said to be discussing how to reduce the flow to the UK after record levels of net migration were reported on Thursday.
According to the report, there are also restrictions on how many family members students can bring into the country with them. The rules only apply to foreign students not already living in the UK
Around 1.1 million people arrived in the UK in the year to June, with around 560,000 leaving in the same period, with net migration reaching a record 504,000 people, according to the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.
The report’s plans to prevent foreign students from studying in Britain appear to be at odds with the government’s International Growth Strategy from 2019, which is designed to increase the number of international students studying in the UK to 600,000 each year by 2030.
That target was reached in the 2020/21 academic year, when more than 605,000 non-UK students enrolled in higher education, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
According to the government’s website, the strategy was originally put in place to “support the UK education sector to access global opportunities”.
A Home Office spokesman said there was no comment on “speculation” surrounding the idea that foreign students could be prevented from entering the UK.
However, a statement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the record number of people traveling to the UK was “understandable” in light of the war in Ukraine, displacement in Afghanistan and the crackdown on rights in Hong Kong. But the British public “rightly expects” immigration to decrease over time.
“This level of immigration has put pressure on housing and housing supply, health, education and other public services. We must ensure that we have a sustainable, balanced and controlled approach which is why we will continue to review our immigration policies,” Braverman said. In a statement.
“My priority is to tackle the rise in dangerous and illegal crossings and stop the abuse of our system. It is imperative that we restore public confidence and take back control of our borders,” he wrote.
The Conservative government has launched a series of initiatives after pledging to reduce net migration to the UK in its 2019 manifesto, tackling controversial plans to deport migrants to Rwanda and dealing with France to target small boat crossings.