CANVAS: Higher Education Spring 2017 - page 9

Immigration remains one of the key Brexit
issues for the HE sector. Theresa May’s
visit to India added more fuel to the flames
as it dominated both talks
(International Business Times, November
7) pages, with the indication that Mrs
May rejected the request for easier visa
norms for Indian students. A country
with a wealth three times that of the UK
is starting to recognise bargaining power
may lie with them, as students look to
higher education outside this country.
An impassioned
(Times Higher
Education Supplement, November 11) from
Sir Keith Burnett clearly outlined the impact
the government’s approach is having in India.
With a 50 per cent drop in the number of
Indians studying in the UK since 2010 should
be ‘the mother of all wake-up calls’. He says
that ‘Other countries are rubbing their hands
with glee at our stupidity,’ and that trade
cannot sustain us alone, clearly highlighting
that international students to bring £14
billion every year to the UK economy.
Looking to the future he warns that
with this policy ‘we are destroying hard-
earned goodwill with a huge proportion
of the world’s population’. He implores
people to care as ‘[their] children’s jobs
in the future could depend on it.’
Compounding Sir Keith’s view and
demonstrating the impacts of this ongoing
policy view towards immigration, the
Independent (November 16) reports the
impact already being felt with a significant
number of
at leading UK
business schools; and Madeleine Atkins, CEO
of Hefce (Times Higher Education, October 24)
saying that the
pool for teaching
and research staff is showing real shortages.
The recognition of the importance of the
immigration issue for financial services
sector was outlined in The Financial Times
(5 October) reporting that the City elite
continues to appeal to Theresa May to ‘keep
an open attitude to skilled immigration, saying
the issue is as important as keeping access to
the EU’s single market for trade and services’.
The desire to limit access to international
students does not seem to be a view shared
by all. A poll ‘welcoming’ students in The
Times (October 26) found ‘five times more
people think that international students
at British universities have a positive
impact than [they have] negative effect.’
Immigration remains a serious
Brexit concern as May travels to India
CANVAS
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