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Calls for revised immigration policy on international STEM students

An ‘unwelcoming’ UK has led to an unprecedented fall in international Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) student numbers, according to a recent House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report.

The Lords’ inquiry looked specifically at the numbers of international students in STEM subjects, and whether the UK’s immigration policy has had any impact.

The Lords’ report calls on the Government to rethink its immigration policy, which it calls contradictory.

The Government is simultaneously committed to reducing net migration and attracting increasing numbers of international students (15–20% over the next five years). This contradiction could be resolved, says the report, if the Government removed students, who comprise a majority of non-EU immigrants, from the net migration figures.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • The Government should treat student numbers separately for immigration policy making purposes.
  • The Government should review its package for international students every two years to ensure it is globally competitive.
  • The Government should reinstate the previous post study work route, which was simple and effective.
  • The Government should establish a working group to determine the impact of decreasing international taught Masters students on the sustainability of courses.
  • The Home Office should improve the way information is provided to prospective students to ensure welcoming and clear language is used.

Contains Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v1.0.

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