LETTER TO THE TIMES

22nd April 2017

International Students and Migration Targets

22nd April 2017

Sir, Given that the current policy of including international students within the migration figures cannot hold, the prime minister will need to be creative. We have submitted to her the embryo of a new scheme through which employers take on much more responsibility for ensuring migrants return home at the end of their visa. The universities are a prototype.

We believe the number of international students should be uncapped, and that those students should be given two years’ work experience here after graduation. But the universities must then ensure they return home. If they fail to do so, they should face a limit on the number of international students they can accept the following year.

This move would both reward and incentivise universities for playing a key role in post-Brexit Britain’s immigration policy. It would also reassure the public that international students need not be a source of concern in the immigration figures.

Sir Nicholas Soames MP
Co-Chairman, Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration