£67 million on visa compliance – but is the money being spent in the right areas?

The recent Higher Education Better Regulation Group report which estimated that the UK higher education sector has spent £67 million on visa compliance, got me thinking. Has it really been five years since the Points Based System (PBS) was introduced?

It immediately took me back to when I was working at the University of East Anglia and I was asked to lead on a little project for about six to eight months to make sure that the University’s visa letters had consistency across the faculties and included our new licence number.  It’s funny how that little project has evolved as per the HEBRG report and cost HE institutions £67 million, but surely that must also be seen as an investment in one of the UK’s most valuable export sectors and, more importantly in supporting students on their journey to the United Kingdom?

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Can’t count, won’t count – should be made to count

 

Over the weekend the BBC reported that the influential Public Administration Committee claimed data used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for estimating who enters and leaves the country were a best guess and not fit for purpose as a means of calculating net migration figures upon which major policy commitments are based. Interested observers already know that the Migration Advisory Committee also think that the ONS method is likely to significantly over-state net migration and particularly the impact of international students attending courses in the UK.

To recap, net migration is calculated as the total number of people entering the United Kingdom for a year or longer minus those who leave the country. The Coalition Government in the United Kingdom is committed to reducing the net migration number from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. At present this is calculated based on something called the International Passenger Survey – which is a random sample of up to 5000 people each year asking them why they are entering or leaving the country.  From that the Office of National Statistics extrapolates the net migration number. A deeply flawed and unreliable mechanism, given the millions of entries and exits to the UK each year. Continue reading “Can’t count, won’t count – should be made to count”

A monstrous way to treat international students?

The very fact that international students get a space on the website of this summer’s hottest animated release reflects their importance and value to universities the world over, says INTO University Partnership’s Internal Communications Manager Mary Kalmus. But is the Monsters University webmaster delivering the full student experience?

INTO’s international students usually arrive fresh-faced and eager, yet understandably nervous, in a strange land where the language may be a challenge, the food unfamiliar and the surroundings and culture vastly – or subtly – different. Continue reading “A monstrous way to treat international students?”

China Rising – perspectives on internationalization from one of China’s leading universities

In the second of our guest blog posts in advance of NAFSA 2013, Professor Lin Runhui of Nankai University in China offers his perspective on internationalization.  Nankai is widely regarded as one of China’s finest universities and is currently offering Masters degrees in English for international students.  Find our more about opportunities in China and meet with Professor Lin at our Destination China seminar at NAFSA 2013 in Saint Louis.

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