British Council response to UK net migration figures
29 November 2012
Dr Jo Beall, British Council Director of Education and Society, said "It would be a great pity if the drop in net migration indicates a drop in genuine international students coming to the UK. We will not know the number of international students in the UK for 2011-12, until enrolment figures are released early next year, so it is too early to conclude that visa reforms have had an impact. There is no limit to the number of student visas universities with highly-trusted status can sponsor, so it is very disappointing that there is now a downturn in visa applications.
Genuine international students make a tremendous academic and cultural contribution to our educational institutions, and are also an important source of revenue. British Council research shows that the global market for international students is growing, and based on the UK's world class reputation for quality and excellence, the UK should be experiencing a growth in numbers over the next decade. It is vital that the most ambitious students continue to see the UK as the best destination for them to develop and share their skills, and build a life-long relationship with the UK. The British Council is committed to working with the government and institutions to ensure the message remains that the UK is open for business."
The British Council’s research, The Shape of Things to Come: Higher education global trends and emerging opportunities to 2020, shows that within the next decade nearly 30,000 more international students can be expected to join university courses in the UK – more than its greatest higher education competitor the United States – as Britain benefits from its links with rapidly growing countries, particularly India.
For more information, please contact Tim Sowula, Snr Press Officer, on 0207 389 4871 or 07771 718 135 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the British Council
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK ’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.