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Overseas students would be banned from the UK unless they study at top universities

The UK government is looking to reduce migration, which could impact the ability of international students to study in Britain.

LONDON — Foreign students wishing to study in Britain may be turned away unless they have secured a place at a “top-tier university”, according to a report by The Times newspaper.

Ministers are said to have discussed how to reduce flows to the UK after record levels of net migration were reported on Thursday.

According to the report, there will also be restrictions on the number of family members students can bring into the country with them. The rules will also only apply to overseas students who do not already live in the UK

Around 1.1million people arrived in the UK in the year to June, of whom around 560,000 emigrated over the same period, leaving net migration at a record 504,000, according to the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.

Reported plans to deter overseas students from studying in Britain appear to run counter to the government’s international growth strategy from 2019, which aimed to increase the number of international students studying in the UK each year to 600,000 by 2030.

This target was met 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.

The strategy was initially put in place to “help the UK education sector access global opportunities”, according to the government’s website.

A Home Office representative said there would be no comment on “speculation” around the idea that overseas students could be barred from entering the UK.

He did, however, provide a statement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who said it was “understandable” that record numbers of people had traveled to the UK in light of the war in Ukraine, evacuation in Afghanistan and the repression of rights in Hong Kong, but that the British public “rightly expects” that migration will decrease over time.

“This level of migration has put pressure on accommodation and housing supply, health, education and other public services. We need to ensure that we have a sustainable, balanced and controlled approach, that’ is why we continue to review our immigration policies,” Braverman said. in the statement.

“My priority remains the fight against the increase in dangerous and illegal crossings and stopping the abuse of our system. It is vital to restore public confidence and regain control of our borders,” she wrote. .

The Conservative government has launched a series of initiatives after pledging to reduce net migration to the UK in its 2019 manifesto, including its controversial plans to deport migrants to Rwanda and agreements with France to target small boat crossings.


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