Rushanara Ali – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Rushanara Ali on 2016-03-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of visa arrangements for international students on the number of those students coming to study in the UK.

James Brokenshire

The student migration system we inherited was too weak, and open to wide-spread abuse, damaging the UK’s reputation as a provider of world-class education. The National Audit Office reported that in 2009/10 up to 50,000 students may have come to work, not study.

We have clamped down on immigration abuse from poor quality institutions selling immigration rather than education, and since 2010 we have struck off more than 920 bogus colleges. Visa applications for the further education sector, where abuse has been most prevalent over recent years, are down 75 per cent compared with 2010.

At the same time, we have maintained a highly competitive offer for international students who would like to study at our world-class institutions. This is borne out by the figures: visa applications from international students to study at British universities are up by 16 per cent since 2010, whilst visa applications to our world-leading Russell Group institutions are up by 39 per cent since 2010.

We will continue to reform the student visa system to tackle abuse and deliver an effective immigration system that works in the national interest.