The UK government is trying to curb migration, which could affect the ability of international students to study in Britain.
LONDON — Foreign students seeking to study in Britain could be turned down unless they secure a place at a “top university,” according to a report by The Times newspaper.
Ministers reportedly discussed how to reduce flows into the UK after record levels of net migration were reported on Thursday.
There will also be restrictions on the number of family members the students are allowed to bring into the country, according to the report. The rules also only apply to foreign students who are not already living in the UK
About 1.1 million people arrived in the UK in the year to June, with about 560,000 emigrating in the same period, taking net migration to a record 504,000 people, according to the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.
Reported plans to discourage foreign students from studying in Britain appear to run counter to the government’s 2019 international growth strategy, which aimed to increase the number of international students studying in the UK each year by 2030 up to 600,000.
That target was met in the academic year 2020/21 when more than 605,000 non-UK students enrolled in higher education, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The strategy was originally set up to “support the UK education sector to access global opportunities,” according to the government’s website.
A Home Office representative said there would be no comment on the “speculation” surrounding the idea that foreign students may be banned from entering the UK
It did, however, include a statement from Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who said the “understandable” record number of people traveled to the UK in light of the war in Ukraine, the evacuation in Afghanistan and the crackdown on rights in Hong Kong. but that the British public “rightly expects” migration to decline over time.
“This level of migration has put pressure on accommodation and housing supply, healthcare, education and other public services. We need to make sure we have a sustainable, balanced and controlled approach, which is why we continue to review our immigration policies,” said Braverman. in the statement.
“My priority remains tackling the rise in dangerous and illegal crossings and stopping the abuse of our system. It is vital that we restore public confidence and take back control of our borders,” she wrote.
The Conservative government has launched a series of initiatives after pledging in its 2019 manifesto to reduce net migration to the UK, including its controversial plans to deport migrants to Rwanda and agreements with France to tackle small boat crossings.