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How should student immigration levels be controlled?

11:31 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

The number of foreign students let into the UK is "unsustainable", minister Damian Green has said in his first major speech on immigration. Does the system need review?

Mr Green told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he didn't want to interfere with universities' success stories but said that there was a need to examine closely sub-degree courses and students' reasons for staying in the UK.

Home Office research suggests one-fifth of students were still in the UK five years after being granted visas. Net migration to the UK increased by 33,000 to 196,000 in 2009 with the numbers of visas issued to students going up by 35%, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Should the rules on student visas be tightened? Should courses for foreign students be limited to university level courses? Are you a foreign student?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, Yes, No.

    Plenty of foreign nationals have been taking BS courses as a way in - is this fair? i don't think so.

    What is so unreasonable about wanting to welcome only the 'brightest and best'? people that can make a positive contribution, thats what we want and should strive for.

    And if we have immigration rules, rules about staying longer than your course/visa, whats the problem with enforcing those rules?

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Immigration cannot be controlled because the Government, as agents of the employers, don't want it controlled.

    If the government enforced decent wages and conditions, and made employers fully train their own staff, then the demand for immigrants would drop dramatically. Immigration is not just a push situation, it is also fuelled by a very large pull, backed up by all of the common propaganda about the people here already being unskilled and unwilling to work. That is, harder to exploit.

  • Comment number 4.

    Simple really

    Issue a fixed number of student visas per year, after 3 years, only issue a new visa if the ex-student has left the UK.
    And make sure that all student visas are valid only for the length of their course.

    But most importantly.
    Deport people who are here illegally first.

  • Comment number 5.

    i have no problem with genuine students but am slightly mystified by the inclusion of 'dependents'. no student needs to bring dependents with them if they wish to study here. yes tighten up the rules as suggested and we also need better tracing mechanisms to remove those overstaying. overstayers should be removed from the country with no right of appeal. if this conflicts with the 'human rights act' then we should legislate to remove this legislation from our legal system.

  • Comment number 6.

    It would seem that the control of immigration through student applications has totally broken down. Over the past few years applications from immigrants to be married at our local church have tripled and strangely enough all have put 'student', on their application forms. As most of them gave force addresses their applications were turned down, but it does make you wonder just how many students are attaining citizenship through the back door, and how many are just using their applications as a way to get into the country and then disappear into our cities. It may take years, to sort out the shambolic mess made by the Labour Government.

  • Comment number 7.

    Is the money these students bring (they pay more to study) and the jobs they then take and pay tax on more than the cost of them staying?

    I don't know, but I bet it is.


    Fair enough we only accept the 'brightest and best', but then Uni's should be doing that with everybody shouldn't they?

  • Comment number 8.

    How should student immigration levels be controlled?
    Another scam to gain acess to this country.
    How many more Millions can this Country support!
    Clean this up a chnces are we could afford to pay for our SChools.
    Sadly its easier to cut than expel these people.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wonder what the government are trying to cover up this time ?

    Immigration - the most pointless subject ever discussed on HYS...

    We're not leaving the EU or abandoning the EU's immigration policies any time soon and therefore anything else we do in relation to immigration is just a big fat waste of time and money that is designed to distract you from other, more serious issues.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Should the rules on student visas be tightened?" - Undoubtedly, especially for countries where there are a lot of problems with people coming in with fake qualification, we should enforce entrance exams run in the Students own country for non-EU nationals.
    "Should courses for foreign students be limited to university level courses" - Only for non-EU students. However schools which offer cheap English Language classes should all be shut down. You know the ones, you see them advertising down Oxford Street all the time. If valid migrants want to learn better English, then they should use local Evening classes.
    Are you a foreign student? - Nope.

  • Comment number 11.

    We should examine how many of these people are training here at our expense so they can take British workers Jobs.
    It is time to put the British people first, all of them regardless of colour or creed need a leg up or two from the government in these hard copper penny scraping times.
    When we have zero unemployment then we can afford to educate the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 12.

    What a daft thread.
    Like there is any way we have control over "educational" immigration. We have none. Neither can we manage asylum seekers, EU migrants or illegal immigrants.

    We gave away our ability to control our borders, long ago. If we want that back, we must leave the EU.

    And I know that there will be a lot of people, getting aerated because once again, someone from the anti-EU brigade blames Brussels.

    The fact is, dear friends, leaving the EU is a pretty good panacea for many of our problems. You've just been brainwashed by thirteen years of Labour into believing that jobs and our future prosperity depend on us being card-carrying members.

    The old and silly argument is that it is apparently "better to be on the train than on the platform."

    Yeah?

    a) we still have no say over where the train goes or where it stops, or when.
    b) three people are paying for everyone else to travel
    c) that ticket costs you and me ten billion a year.

    Most non-governmental (i.e. no vested interest)economists agree.

    So lets get out of the EU and get our borders back.

  • Comment number 13.

    I haven't a problem if the students are coming across to study and then go home after completing their courses, however as I understand it the problem is that graduate students are staying on after their courses, and some are milking the system by being perpetual students.
    Both are easy to control as all you need to do is place a time limit, say 4 years if they have come across for a three year course, or that they are required to leave within 6 months of graduation unless they apply to stay on under other immigration rules.

  • Comment number 14.

    The previous debacle of a government relaxed border controls so significantly that it is going to take years to re-establish any form of management of migrants coming/going from this country.
    The fact that UK A Level students are being turned away from University, yet overseas students still don't encounter problems acquiring places at our Universities is a disgrace, one which our government should be ashamed of.
    No overseas student should take priority over any UK student who is qualified to take a vacancy, regardless of the funding that an overseas student brings.
    It would not be difficult to implement a strict system that allows UK-First students.
    Incoming students should be restricted to fill-up places only.

  • Comment number 15.

    How should immigration be controlled?
    Has anyone thought of not letting people in?
    I continue to be amazed just from media programmes evidence at the sheer numbers of people from all over the globe who live here. Countres we have no obligation to or ties with.
    Despite noise to the contrary they seem to keep coming, seldom if ever go home even if convicted of half a dozen significant crimes.
    Like many onther sensible policies about which something needs doing, they can't change the rules on foreign students. It brings in too much foreign exchange money its one of the new psudo industries we have. It creates jobs. Trouble is no one knows how much the establishment costs of these new are for their health care, accomodation needs, transport etc etc.
    Nett the national economy probably makes zilch.

  • Comment number 16.

    Deport all those who are not genuine Students here to study. Continuous checks must be made to ensure those here abide by the terms of entry.

    All foreign students who wish to come here to study and pay their own way in doing so, should be welcomed and not punished or persecuted because of those who abuse the system.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    Problem is that foreign students are used as a cash cow by most British universities, effectively subsidising the education of British Students.

    Outlaw the foreign students or even decrease their numbers and the fees charged for British students will inevitably go up.

    Taking higher education even further out of the reach of those from poorer backgrounds.

  • Comment number 19.

    THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND UNIONS BEING AT THE SERVICE OF BOSSES .
    TO PROVIDE THEM WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF SKILLED/UNSKILLED WORKERS FOREIGN OR NOT TO KEEP THEIR PROFITS UP .
    WATCH POLITICIANS AND UNIONS BOSSES WITH FAT WAGE PACKETS PENSIONS/SHARES/CHAIRMANSHIPS AND YOU SEE THE BIG PICTURE
    YOU'VE BEEN FOOLED AGAIN . ( AS ALWAYS )

  • Comment number 20.

    Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    We are once again helping out other countries' people and neglecting our own. By allowing every foreigner a better life with better opportunites is a noble offer, but in the meantime the increased over-crowding and drain on resources is a problem we have to deal with.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well, the government needs to decide whether it wants to encourage universities to get more of their income from foreign students or not. If it does then there must be enough visas for them; if not it needs to explain how it will fund the shortfall in their income.

  • Comment number 24.

    Why is it so difficult:- Only allow in foreign (non EU) students to attend recognised universities and OFSED approved language schools, with the visa granted only for the duration of the course and no dependents.

  • Comment number 25.

    1. At 11:49am on 06 Sep 2010, Moderator Friendly Unoffensive Nickname wrote:
    1. Yes, Yes, No.
    2. Plenty of foreign nationals have been taking BS courses as a way in - is this fair? i don't think so.
    3. What is so unreasonable about wanting to welcome only the 'brightest and best'? people that can make a positive contribution, thats what we want and should strive for.
    4. And if we have immigration rules, rules about staying longer than your course/visa, whats the problem with enforcing those rules?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sums it up perfectly. The only thing I'd add is that, there's no point in taking the very best people unless we keep some of them. So if they don't do it already the immigration rules should include flexibility later on for people of this kind to be able to extend their stay or even settle here, if they are considered as likely to be an asset to Britain.

  • Comment number 26.

    A few weeks ago we were told there would not be enough graduate places for those who wanted to study, now we are told too many foreign students are coming here to study.

    How about allowing all those UK residents to be allocated a place first then the remainder of places given over to non UK residents?

  • Comment number 27.

    Our top academic institutions are one of the few things that this country remains justly famous for. Sometimes you have to see these things in a strictly business way. The red brick brands bring in many muillions, which help to subsidise the fees for other students as well as develop those institutions.

    Of course, if this Govt deems it necessary, there should be a review to ensure only legitimate students get places. But to limit the amount of legitforeign students would be foolish.

  • Comment number 28.

    A student visa should be just that. You can stay for the number of years stipulated then you go home. Any employer found employing someone whose visa is out if date, is fined so much that they are out of business. Not this £10,000 per person. No dependants at all.
    One example of laxness in enforcing our immigration laws is, how many multi-national supermarkets have you seen with non-English speaking car-cleaners in their car parks? I would love to know how many of them are illegals? If they can't speak English, how are they here???

  • Comment number 29.

    The Conservites killed off engineering and manufacturing during their last attempt to run the country, this time yes kill off the education as well - shutdown University, by cutting off the hand that keeps them afloat i.e. the foreign students, and then we will definately become a nation of shop keepers

  • Comment number 30.

    20. At 12:21pm on 06 Sep 2010, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:
    Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'


    When someone uses such ridiculous hyperbole they probably have a valid point!

  • Comment number 31.

    The only thing that concerns me with all this is the massive amount of British students that have been unable to get into university this year (they don't pay as much as foreigners).

    I don't know why everyone gets out their prams about immigration - for every two foreigners that come here a Brit goes elsewhere.
    (Thats a made-up stat but you see my point)

    And until people stop having more than two kids the population is going to keep going up . . . nine day traffic jam anyone?


  • Comment number 32.

    Why are we refusing foreign students spending their money for their full tuition fees and living expenses in this country? And meanwhile, the government is giving money and accommodation to refugees (for free) to allow them to stay in Britain!?

    Also, can the government give precise figures of how many people from other EU countries study and work in the UK in the past 5 years?

  • Comment number 33.

    It is a simple choice between the universities getting more funding from the government (as if), or encouraging foreign students who pay more for their education. We can't have it both ways.

  • Comment number 34.

    I was lucky and went to uni from 1998 - 2001 when entry was almost guaranteed to all who wanted to go. We had foreign students who could barely speak english and it baffles me to this day how some of them managed to get their degree.

    Now things are different and to give so many places to foreign students when our own are being rejected is wrong - espsicelly the straight A students who can't get places.

    As for overstayers I'm really not suprised at these finding.

    I think a cap on numbers and improved entry criteria is badly needed.

  • Comment number 35.

    In paying the full price for tuition fees at English universities, foreign students are an extremely valuable source of revenue for a higher education system that is continually struggling for funds. If you want your own kids to be forced to pay tuition fees approaching £10K for the privilege of a university education then, by all means, put a cap on foreign students.

  • Comment number 36.

    " 3. At 11:52am on 06 Sep 2010, piscator wrote:
    Immigration cannot be controlled because the Government, as agents of the employers, don't want it controlled.If the government enforced decent wages and conditions, and made employers fully train their own staff, then the demand for immigrants would drop dramatically. "

    No it wouldn't. What WOULD happen is this:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11101369

    "NHS patient record services in the East Midlands are being outsourced, with the loss of about 90 jobs.

    Nine Primary Care Trusts have agreed a contract with NHS SBS - a partnership of the Department of Health and IT firm Steria - with some work going to India.

    Health officials said the move will save up to £9m over six years and will not impact on patient care.

    But unions said staff had been "sold out" and having some tasks sent to India risked vital information.

    The move will see payment processing, cervical and breast cancer screening correspondence, medical records and patient registration done by the new firm."

    Pretty much the first thing that happened here after the coallition (with their promise to 'ring fence' the NHS budget) took power.

  • Comment number 37.

    "
    20. At 12:21pm on 06 Sep 2010, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:

    Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'
    "

    It's not too late at all. If the Tories wish to do something about it, they could do. The Tories choice not to because of pressure of the wacky libdems and extremist groups such ANL and UAF.

  • Comment number 38.

    I have many problems with BNP, Migration Watch and even UKIP's stance on immigration, but student visas present 2 separate problems that will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.First,many applicants from developing countries use student visas as a thinly-veiled cover for economic migration, and they never intend to return home which is why so many are still here long after their courses are completed.And Damian Green has every right to ask what they're still doing here because many are contributing little or nothing in taxes.Unfortunately universities, especially former polytechnics and colleges of further education, have to look for non-government funding in order to keep their doors open so they offer courses that will attract overseas 'students'.It's time to focus closely on these sub-degree courses and weed out the ones that pull in bogus users.It may hit lower-tier universities and colleges but they're on borrowed time anyway.Second,it may have been Labour policy to pull in as many migrants as possible but right now,in this economic climate we have to reverse that trend. We can't do anything about EU migration - Labour had the option to put a brake on immigration from accession states and chose to sit on its hands - but we have to close loopholes, not for the high-worth individuals who create wealth and pay taxes, but for the back-door economic migrants who would try any means to get in to the UK and stay here.

  • Comment number 39.

    I am sure that the 25% cut in funding to border services along with the rest of the public sector will motivate the remaining few overworked staff to be extra vigilant, especially as they are going to have their pay cut in real terms for the next 2 years.

    Or maybe it won't!

  • Comment number 40.

    18. At 12:20pm on 06 Sep 2010, Nok wrote:
    Problem is that foreign students are used as a cash cow by most British universities, effectively subsidising the education of British Students.

    Outlaw the foreign students or even decrease their numbers and the fees charged for British students will inevitably go up.

    Taking higher education even further out of the reach of those from poorer backgrounds.



    More or less right but its actually taking education out of the reach of those from lower middle class backgrounds. If your parents are on the dole you'll still get free fees, bursaries etc. Its if your parents earn about £30,000 (out of which they have to pay mortgages, pensions and the taxes to pay for free education for the poor etc) that'll you be expected to pay the full cost yourself.

  • Comment number 41.

    The number of foreign students let into the UK is "unsustainable", minister Damian Green will say in his first major speech on immigration. Does the system need review?

    I should say so!

  • Comment number 42.

    Considering that many of our universities and colleges only survive because of the amount of money they can make from foreign students (a LOT more than they make from the locals), we're probably looking at a net benefit, as they're bringing huge sums of money into the economy.

    Having said that, we should make sure they leave if they drop out of the course. Universities/colleges should hand over details of dropped out foreign students to the authorities. Tackling those who stay in the country AFTER the course has finished should be considered a lower priority, especially if they've found work, as they're probably going to be more economically beneficial.

    The only other thing we can do is make sure they're going on proper courses to start with. A little academic rigor will go a long way.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    "
    11. At 12:13pm on 06 Sep 2010, yorkshire News wrote:

    We should examine how many of these people are training here at our expense so they can take British workers Jobs.
    It is time to put the British people first, all of them regardless of colour or creed need a leg up or two from the government in these hard copper penny scraping times.
    When we have zero unemployment then we can afford to educate the rest of the world.
    "

    What a stupid remark. The vast majority of these students pay their own way. There is a net gain for the Universities in what they receive from the foriegn students, in fact, foriegn students can be seen as cash cows for the Universities.

    So, what else does the BNP website have to say on the matter?

  • Comment number 45.

    Careful screening is needed for obvious reasons.

    Other than that, fees charged should be greatly increased so that UK students can be free of student loans. In other words use the foreingn fees as a source of taxation to help poorer UK students.

  • Comment number 46.

    House! and we're only up to 28.

    As education is about broadening the mind, maybe we should have no restrictions at all.

    As most of the Daily Mail Bingo brigade will get right on this one, who are the same people who demand that when they go abroad everyone should speak 'Inglish', then what better way than for the flippers of foriegn burgers and servers of foreign pints to come get an education before they run off home like good little boys and girls to serve the Empire on holiday.

    I am affronted by the bigotry.

    If you want an education, go get one and take the jobs that these foriegn students are stealing from the British Worker, what the ones that require a degree?

    When they a children, we call it 'student exchange', when we are adult we call it sponging immigrants.

    Perhaps when all the indigenous population have fought hard at school academically for the university places and there aren't enough to go round and qualified Doctors and Lawyers from old Blighty, white anglo saxon boys and girls are cleaning the toilets because there's no other jobs, then come and spout that nonsense about the 'British Worker' and foreign people nicking stuff from our kids and the like.

    Disgrace.

  • Comment number 47.

    5. At 12:03pm on 06 Sep 2010, Shambles wrote:
    i have no problem with genuine students but am slightly mystified by the inclusion of 'dependents'. no student needs to bring dependents with them if they wish to study here.

    Many foreign students are married and because they aren't the richest people in the world can't pop home (to India or Malaysia etc) to see their wife every other weekend. They don't 'need' to bring their dependents but its hardly unusual to do so. Any Brit who is offered a job abroad would usually expect to be able to take their wife and kids with them. As long as the course is a proper degree course and not some dodgy language school certificate there is no reason at all why spouses shouldn't come here.

  • Comment number 48.

    All this is pure hypocrisy from the government. And I am laughing very laudly at the British people complaining about all this.

    As someone said before, the foreign students are used as milk cows to finance the presence of british students in universities. For exemple, this year, as my girlfriend, non european, was paying around 15000 pounds for her master, the EU students were paying 5000 and the british students less than 2000. So, if you follow the coalition ideas, the fees of the british students will for sure need to go up to cover for the loss incurred. And by very much!
    I have to say that I am waiting for this: we will see very quickly who will be crying: it will be the Britishs, not the foreigners who will then decide to study in France or in the US. That will mean lot of influence and money lost for the UK. On top of it, all the poorest british students won't be able to afford university. All this sounds fantastic and very "progressist"...

    Second point: it seems quite clear that all the personn talking here have no idea of what a visa to the UK require for the foreigners. Ask for informations before criticising and shouting : they need to provide ID of course, valid visa, motivation letters, recommendation letters, letters of acceptance by a british university (without which it is not possible to ask for the visa) but also bank statement showing than they have a deposit of more than 15000 £, then they have to register to the police, etc. Nonetheless, most of those foreigners see their visa refused by the autoritites. So do not think one second it is easy to get a visa to the UK! And stop with all this hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 49.

    The vast majority of private colleges offer courses the students could take at home and are essentially migration routes. The fact that five million national insurance numbers have been issued to foreign nationals in the last seven years reveals the economic nature of the migration.

    In the first instance, those on student visas should be prohibited from working and from getting the national insurance numbers needed to work, in most cases.

    The nonsense about economic benefit from such students, much quoted by the BBC's Mark Easton (can someone tell him the world is changing?) is as dubious as many of the colleges and based on one piece of feeble research collating notional figures.

  • Comment number 50.

    Door, Stable, Horse, Bolted.

  • Comment number 51.

    EVERYTHING'S A CONSPIRACY....

    THE GOVERNMENT LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING....

    IF ONLY THEY'D LISTEN TO MEEEEEEEE.....

  • Comment number 52.

    Edwin Schrodinger wrote: Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'

    Have you any idea how ignorant you actually sound? It's seriously worrying that numpties like you are allowed to vote.

  • Comment number 53.

    The article is a little mis-leading in that it doesn't make clear that the figure of one fifth remaining after their degrees also includes all of the students who stay with approval.

    Many foreign students decide to stay after they have completed their degree and as they are well trained we often let them if they apply for residency.

    They do make a valuable contribution to our country.

    We just need to focus on the issue that successive governments have tried to deal with, "fake" schools for foreign students. I have never understood why visas aren't only issued to students going to accredited institutions only.

  • Comment number 54.

    I completely understand this problem. I was a student came to this country in 2005 and now I work for a small company and do a highly skilled job which I studied at the University. We do pay about 2-3 times tution fees for university as well as very expensive visa fees.
    I think I am contributing to the local economy well and making sure the company is successful and in a way generate more jobs. We started as only 4 employees and now employ about 50 staff of which me being the only immigrant. All the staff I have had since we started have been trained on job and I am very proud about it.
    But I think there should be some control in student immigration as there are a lot of students coming in and trying to get the citizenship through back door illegally. This inturn has always affected genuine students who stay back in the country as they are quite vital for the business because it brings in strict unfair rules and steep hike in visa costs.

  • Comment number 55.

    It's always amazing how they manage to keep tabs on Mrs and Mrs Jones - they seem to know everything we're up to ie databases, CCTV etc., but never seem to be able to keep tabs on immigrants and bogus students - unbelievable really.

    Something needs to be done about this and soon.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well, you have the two situations.
    Firstly, as has been reported in the press recently, universities much prefer to take overseas students because they can charge them the full amount for courses, as opposed to British students, whose fees are capped. So they are quite happy to take them with lower grades than British students - because its all about the money, right..?
    Secondly, as anyone with half a brain knows, this is a scam to get into the country and bypass immigration controls.
    Over to you, Mr Green...

  • Comment number 57.

    43. At 12:47pm on 06 Sep 2010, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:
    Easy enough to tackle if you have the will:

    1) No dependents allowed (what sort of 'students' have three kids, and do we need these kind of 'students' anyway, when they are so obviusly suspect?)


    Several of my students have children... they're medically qualified doctors from the middle east in their early 30's doing post grad degrees at a top ten UK university. Rather than being 'obviously suspect' one of them (and Iraqi... believe it or not he doesn't want to leave his wife behind in Basra to look after the kids) is the best pathologist I've ever worked with. I'm certain you're completely unaware that the UK is grossly short on medically qualified pathologists too, not least because the pay and conditions of the job are so poor.

  • Comment number 58.

    29. At 12:35pm on 06 Sep 2010, Rajiva wrote:

    The Conservites killed off engineering and manufacturing during their last attempt to run the country, this time yes kill off the education as well - shutdown University, by cutting off the hand that keeps them afloat i.e. the foreign students, and then we will definately become a nation of shop keepers

    -------------------------------------------

    We lost equally as much industry during the last thirteen years of a Labour government. That is not Labours fault any more than it is the Conservatives fault before them. It is our fault. All of us want everything cheap so our shops are full of tat made in China and anywhere else where people are willing to work for £10 a day producing junk.

    As for foreign students keeping us afloat that is complete nonsense and so is your bit about becoming a nation of shop keepers. That is what we used to be before the big supermarkets arrived and put most of the small shops out of business.

  • Comment number 59.

    "Legal immagration was fine in the past, we needed doctors, nurses' and many other workers to meet demands of our industrys and N.H.S. But NOT today with many of our local home grown people on unemployment benifits, The students who come here from some countries? are here to work to get money and or benifits, for arranged marrages' or support they familys abroad, and work for The shady business people who dodge our tax system, many in the restaurant or fast food outlets , Many are bogus students' who should be all deported, with they familys? even after many years of living in the U.K. they are crooks and illegals who milk the U.K.

  • Comment number 60.

    students coming to england first start getting bank accounts driving licences,getting there names on housing lists to get on the electoral role working in multiple jobs to cover up the number of hours worked
    then if that fails marry to stay
    foriegn students should be blocked from using these basic scams

  • Comment number 61.

    Just a question, if we ban foreign students, then how long do you think before the several thousand British students studying overseas are returned to the UK.

  • Comment number 62.

    make universities introduce international universities in 3rd world
    countries so if a student wants to abscond it will not effect england
    plus help 3rd world countries with employment

  • Comment number 63.

    For a career in Academia, it is encouraged to study or work in different countries to gain experience of different influences and environments. If British students expect to be able to travel to other countries to study then who are we to prevent foreign students from coming here.

    I personally think that universities are better with this diversity and actually require it.

  • Comment number 64.

    In the current model both of the number of Universities and how they are funded then this is an inevitable consequence. It is questionable whether this education model actually serves the country well at all though.

    It is also true that the student visa system is significantly abused as is every other loophole in our immigration policy. Our border controls have a significant way to go in legislation and enforcement before this situation can be remedied. It will take time and it will take the will to make it happen.

    EU immigration is only inevitable as the EU is currently set up and we have the ability to try and influence and change that set up. It is unbelievable naieve to imagine that the rest of the EU are in favour of mass movements of population. The current French reaction to their Roma encampments shows a far more decisive approach than any seen in 21st century Britain however you view it on the right/wrong scale.

    We don't have to leave the EU to control EU immigration. We have to change the EU.

    The British who 'don't want to do those jobs' or 'haven't got the skills' etc require leadership. This is something sadly lacking in Britain. Getting them skilled and into work should always be the priority and business that benefits from being here should put their hands in their pockets too. There is no point in nation states unless the people of those states benefit from their belonging.

  • Comment number 65.

    Controlling entry should not be a .problem if their is a proper and efficient border control

    It was the Condervatives who first proposed this but then the Labour government jumped on the bandwagon and introduced a cheap and ineffective substitute.

    Keeping the wrong people out will cost more money however the real problem is what you do with those already here who shouldn't be here.
    Perhaps they are among the 3 million that Labout want on the elctoral role who don't want to be on it.

  • Comment number 66.

    What people fail to realise is that these immigrants are bringing in £10k/term in tuition fees, big £££ in rent and housing, more £££ in food and bills, £££ in clothes shopping and other things that they need for living and all of that money is coming into the UK from over seas.

    Now stop me if I'm wrong but aren't we currently living in a country with a declining Export and manufacturing ethic. Are we not living in a society which forces young people to see themselves as a failure if they become a factory worker. are we also not the country that gets most of it's money in through the banking sector and as a result still haven't recovered from the last financial crisis!

    We don't need to start putting in the media all this codswhallop about there being too many immigrant students! we need to encourage this or we're gonna loose one of our last non-banking incomes into this country.

    What we really need to do is not to change the rules but to enforce them so that when a visa does run out, we find them and get them out of the country. This is where the root of the problem lies, not in people coming to the country but staying here after their visa runs out or them staying here when they've dropped out of the course.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Foreign immigrant students = money for Universities.
    Do Universities care what happens to the students afterwards? No. Why? Because they have got the money, which is the prime reason for allowingthem here in the first place.
    Solution. Universities and all the 'mickey mouse' colleges that offer 'courses' to immigrant students should put up a bail amount per student, say £100k. When the student leaves the country, the bail is returned to the University. Among other things, that should ensure the 'mickey mouse' colleges close down and bona fide Universities set up a robust legal/contractual framework for overseas students.

  • Comment number 69.

    This does sound like an ill thought out, popularist political statement. If you limit overseas students, will the government make up the lost funding for universities? At a time when funding for our Universities and research is a little bit difficult to say the least, limiting a source of income seems self destructive. Things have to be paid for somehow.

  • Comment number 70.

    To me the question asks for opinion on treatment of 'indian' malaria, when the diagnostics suggest that the cause of the problem of immigration excesses are rooted in 'polish' measles !
    13 years of Labor caused uncontrolled immigration from the EU.
    80 % of the excessive migration of the last 13 years was caused by EU.
    And the remedies are being applied to Non-EU students.
    Wrong question - is the opinion of UK.
    And after this kind of diagnostics & remedies, UK ministers look for economic sanctuaries in India & the Non-EU geographies.
    My suggestion would be to examine the research and analytics used that ends up in asking the wrong questions, before the right remedies can be applied.

  • Comment number 71.

    I am not a foreign student but I do work in a university. To my mind, the problem is not that we are letting foreign students into the country to study, the problem is that they are not leaving. The previous goverment made such a dog's breakfast of immigration that the whole system is in a mess and it has been shown that a large number of students come in to study at institutions that are not genuine and they are only doing it to gain access to the country.

    The solution is simply to stop funding foreign students. If they want to come in, they should come to university-level courses and demonstrate that they can support themselves while they are here. Moreover, there needs to be a more stringent background check on these people and they should be tracked throughout their studies to make sure they are still here, still studying and still achieving the desired grades. If not, they should be sent packing at once.

    Once their studies are finished, they should return to their home country and if they want to come back here to work, they should apply again for the correct type of visa. As for the question of dependents, no they should not be allowed in simply because one family member is a student.

  • Comment number 72.

    Wow, a lot of the comments on here are grossly misinformed.

    For example David #13 wrote that students are milking the system. Or Claire #26 and Chezza100 #34 saying international students are taking spots from citizens.

    Students, as all economic immigrants, have no right to benefits so I have no idea what they would be milking (NHS maybe, but last I checked most 20 somethings rarely use medical care). What they do bring is 3X the amount in tuition, meaning they pay substantially more and are not considered in the slots that citizens fill as they are not subsidized by UK government. They brig money for housing, food, spending and traveling which goes directly into your economy. They can't work more then 20 hours during term time and 40 during holiday and they are barred from getting permanent jobs. If the program is for a year or more then they are only allowed to remain in the country for 4 months after the course is done (2 if you are studying under a year).

    What this article isn't saying is that after 4 years (according to the government's own stats) there are more Brits leaving the country then non-EU immigrants entering. The quotes from Green are very loaded, the only way to get solid number is through having a body to count... tell me how do you count illegal post-student immigrants? You don't, these numbers are based on those who are legally here. And finally, they also are giving you numbers in a way that easily persuades you against immigrants. How about this... Students staying for over 5 years is only roughly .00065% of the entire British population.

    Yes, I am an international American student who just completed an MSc and will be legally applying for PSW visa, in which I will hopefully find a job in my field, pay taxes, support the economy and not use benefits. Oh yeah it also cost me £20k to get this degree.

  • Comment number 73.

    I work for a large organisation that uses casual staff over the Xmas period. In London 80% of people that look for employment over this period are in the UK on student visas. A large number also have dependants in the UK covered by these visas. Of the 80% another 80% claim to work there entitled 20 hours per week in places like Mac Donalds. A high number also study business studies at colleges based above shops in High Streets. When they come we ask when their holiday term times are as this allows them to work the full hours required. We nearly always get the reply of what dates do you want. The problem is not the amount of students who are in the UK to study. The problem is the back street colleges who are registering students to allow them to come into the UK through the back door.

  • Comment number 74.

    Britain is known across the world as being very soft on immigration - why do you think there are so many foreigners hanging around Calais ? They're trying to get across the Channel because if they get in, the Brit government gives them money and they know it - and that's why they're not interested in remaining in France. Because successive British governments have not had the courage to clamp down on them like a ton of bricks, the problem of overseas students has been exacerbated whereas in reality many of these students come to study and return to their own countries. The government should concentrate in the first instance on brutally eradicating illegal immigration before harassing students who have just come over to better themselves before returning to their home countries.

  • Comment number 75.

    We need foreign students for a number of reasons first and foremost for the monetary value they input into our universities, secondly to introduce them the British way of life and thirdly to have the opertunity to poach the best for ourselves.

    What we do not need is any coming to dubious colleges or universities that no one has heard of. These are generally linked to some faith school and are quite simply either training camps for religious nuts or fronts for illegal immigration.

    Unless they have sufficient personal funds, or guarantees from their governments or sponsors to maintain themselves and any dependants, they should be refused. They should also have comprehensive health insurance.

  • Comment number 76.

    Immigration for students should be so clear cut, you come you pay you study you are entitled to nothing until you have contributed into the NI pot... how hard is this, but no we allow anyone in who classes themselves as students at bogus college's . then you have the case of my friend, US national working here, made redundant , started another job and was escorted from is place of work because his employer made an error on his visa form, 4 days later he was deported, and this was a man whop earned in excess of £100k and paid full uk taxes for the whole time he was here. thie current system is so antiquated its a disgrace. if he were from india and said he was here to study english then signed on the dole then he would still be here

  • Comment number 77.

    Foreign students should only be allowed to study here if there are any spare places after all British students wishing to study at college or university have been allocated a course.

  • Comment number 78.

    When an 'overseas' student (that is, a non-EU national) enrols on a course, particularly university ones, they are charged over the odds as there quite rightly is no subsidy from public funds. Once they have completed their course they should either depart or re-apply to remain as an immigrant... and given the calibre of many, they will be welcome additions to our community!

    What we do not want are people who are not going to contribute - financially or culturally - to society. People who work legally pay their taxes like the rest of us; but those who cannot or will not earn to support themselves must go home, not remain and scrounge.

  • Comment number 79.

    Do we really need immigration with a population at this size the is always be somebody who will stand up to the plate,we underestimate the abilities and talents of the British people and the old chestnut that we have to pay high salaries to attract the right people there is always people willing and capable of doing that job at a reasonable salary given the chance, Just look at the one show as an example the new people are just as talented as the presenters that walked away and on far less salary,

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm sure that once the Tories Lib Dem have implemented part (a) of their master plan(s) to chop out beaucoup public servants jobs and livelihoods for being 'too nice' and leftist they will follow this through with plan (b) outsourcing the DWP's and Job Cenrtre's extra work loads from the masses to India and Pakistan just like the Banks IT and BT Call centres have (done dispite claims we are all in their mess together). The only economic survivors can then be clearly defined as money launderers and professional criminals which will help SOCA reduce their workload. This would also help reduce HRMC's workload as there will be less income all over the nation. The only work available to the UK public would be on a free voluntary basis, which would probably be outlawed by the Right Wing Arm of the Lib-Con pact as being too tree huggy liberalist. But the above plan to limit the pakistanis would most definitely appeal to the Extreme Right Wing Arm of the Con-Lib pact voters..

  • Comment number 81.

    The number of foreign students let into the UK is "unsustainable", minister Damian Green will say in his first major speech on immigration. Does the system need review?


    No, it just means that Damian Green is ultimately a terrible hypocrite, especially with his usage of the word "unsustainable"

    Does this means Damian Green REJECTS Britains "unsustainable" nuclear energy policy which leaves a massive poisonnous legacy for future generations to deal with!!

    OR, maybe he disagrees with the Popes visit, a person who's theological fantasy ideals are in DIRECT opposition to "SUSTAINABLE" populations via anti- contraception indoctrination, especially of the poorest members of world society who can LEAST afford numerous children!!

    OR maybe Damian Green just disagrees of so many "UNSUSTAINABLE" policys of ConDem government.

    Does Damian Green have ANY idea/understanding of "LIMITS TO GROWTH" and REAL "sustainability", or is he basically a 2 faced muppet hypocrite politician is using "unsustainability" solely for political purposes and NOTHING to do with moral purposes.

  • Comment number 82.

    Our own kids can't get in, so why let foreigners in....?

  • Comment number 83.

    60. At 1:10pm on 06 Sep 2010, john wrote:
    students coming to england first start getting bank accounts driving licences,getting there names on housing lists to get on the electoral role working in multiple jobs to cover up the number of hours worked
    then if that fails marry to stay
    foriegn students should be blocked from using these basic scams



    WHAT???? How the hell is getting a bank account, a driving licence and working multiple jobs a 'basic scam'? How do you propose a foreign student pays their rent or uni fees without a bank account?

    Its leaving a paper trail like that that makes it easy to find them when they overstay their visa. Its illegal migrants with no paper records that we have the problem with.

  • Comment number 84.

    How does the Government know who has left? As far as I am aware there are no systematic checks. Clearly the system is rotten and open to abuse and needs drastic reform.

  • Comment number 85.

    I would have thought that simply making all applicants from overseas read any HYS on immigration before they apply should be enough to make them think twice about it.

  • Comment number 86.

    I wonder if this will be a potential excuse for putting up uni fees once again.

    International students pay about £14,000+ per year on fees. Many universities have and even encourage very high international student numbers particularly Masters and PhD students because one international student is paying the same per year as around 4 English students but only using 1/4 of facilities & lecturer time.

    If the Government ensure international student numbers are reduced there's a good chance university fees will go up for the English students to cover the loss. On the other hand, will this free up more spaces for those who are struggling to find a place because universities are so full now?

    However, I do agree more needs to be done to monitor the students behaviour after university. Once they have finished studying the Government needs to know who's visa have expired and who is no longer a student and needs to return home. Those on false student passports or who have graduated need checking and sent home if found to be abusing the system. As another reviewer pointed out, as English citizens we have our details held on several databases and can't even miss a TV license payment without being caught, so how do these others manage to escape the system?

  • Comment number 87.

    simple stop any more forign students coming into the uk and look after the ones born here

  • Comment number 88.

    Only real university places should count - not a college run from a room over a chip shop.
    If there are decent graded UK student wanting places - they come first.
    There should be a maximum number of 'foreign' students. Unless the outgoing students have left the counrty - there should be no new ones allowed in.
    No dependents should be allowed to join the student - they are here to study. They have the internet and phones for contact. This is more access to families than servicemen have
    No employment should be allowed - they must be able to fund themselves completely - money lodged in UK account to come here. Account to be checked regularly.

  • Comment number 89.

    20. At 12:21pm on 06 Sep 2010, Edwin Schrodinger wrote:

    Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    No the problem was that while letting in people who filled the roles we needed, Doctors, Nurses, skilled workers etc, we should of been kicking out the people we don't wont, murderers, rapists, child molesters etc.

  • Comment number 90.

    WE OVERPAY POLITICIANS TO FIX WHAT'S WRONG

    NOT TO PREDICT THE FUTURE

    NOT TO TELL US WHAT'S WRONG ( no need; we can feel the pain)

  • Comment number 91.

    Of course it needs to be controlled. Mickey Mouse colleges are opening all over London which cover courses which have no validity and people traffickers use them as ways of getting people in. Only students entering for the purpose of studying at established universities should be allowed in. The universities should then be responsible for them leaving the country when their courses are finished.

  • Comment number 92.

    I do not care if overseas students are a large source of revenue for Universities what matters here is what has been going on.

    The influx of 300,000 students last year, allowed to bring families, allowed to work, allowed to convert to residency visas is back door immigration.

    Student visas should be simple, come, study, go. No work, no family no extension or conversion. If they don't like it don't come.

  • Comment number 93.

    Perhaps the answer is that extremely sore point of identity cards carrying difficult to forge biometric data. Any body working would have to show such a card and checks could be made on individuals working to see if they carried a suitable card. This might if organised correctly lead to the issuing of a card for tempory residency to attend a course say for three years and if staying longer then the idividual has to apply for a full uk id card and ultimately residency. Id cards would then be needed to apply for credit, bank accounts, driving licence etc etc. But isnt this what labour was going to do?

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    >>We should examine how many of these people are training here at our expense so they can take British workers Jobs.

    Rubbish. At universities, it is only the income from foreign students that helps balance the books, given the cap on the tuition fees we can charge to home students, and the limited funds we get from central government. And overseas students are willing to pay (or their governments are) to come here because they recognize they can get a better education at a UK university.

    Dependants? If you are doing a post-grad course, you might have a partner and children, so why should we limit access to education because of that, especially for overseas students who are willing to pay for the quality of the masters and doctoral studies they can get here.

  • Comment number 96.

    Having attended, and worked at, a university for 9 years now it is clear to me that the universities prefer (and actively encourage) international students to join (particularly non-EU) as they pay full fees - the university I work in has become more and more 'income-focused' over the last few years - and home students, the science subjects and research just don't make them enough money nowadays.

  • Comment number 97.

    52. At 12:57pm on 06 Sep 2010, luskentyre wrote:
    Edwin Schrodinger wrote: Its too late to do anything about it now. Labour deliberately destroyed Britain by flooding the country with immigrants - and then called anyone who complained a 'racist.'

    Have you any idea how ignorant you actually sound? It's seriously worrying that numpties like you are allowed to vote.


    "Edwin" (and alter-egos) uses HYS as a platform for public demonstration of his ignorance and prejudice on a huge range of subjects.

  • Comment number 98.

    Claire Herbert wrote:
    A few weeks ago we were told there would not be enough graduate places for those who wanted to study, now we are told too many foreign students are coming here to study.

    How about allowing all those UK residents to be allocated a place first then the remainder of places given over to non UK residents?



    The lack of university places for UK students is a result of funding cuts and has nothing to do with foreign students; you are confusing two very different and totally unrelated issues. Foreign students who study at a UK university actually subsidise UK students because of the inflated course fees that they pay.

  • Comment number 99.

    Is this to appease the far right element of the tory party? If so this is very worrying. Afterall this is how the National Socialist German Workers' Party started. How long is it going to be before they ban all forms of immigration?

  • Comment number 100.

    Students should only be given a visa for university courses. At the end of the course, no student on a visa should be allowed to graduate or receive their certificates until they have left the country. I also agree that dependants should not be allowed (who pays for health care etc for these people). With a legal visa the student should be able to return to visit and then come back to complete the course. Many of these students are studying to improve life in their own countries - make sure they do. At present there are not enough graduate jobs for our own students - it seems ridiculous that we are training graduates to sign dole forms.

 

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