international students

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Migration Figures to Continue Including International Students

Despite recent growing pressure from MPs and university heads, the government announced yesterday that international students will continue to be counted in migration statistics.

International students are currently counted in the immigration figures used by the British government, meaning that students are included in the government's pledge to reduce immigration by "tens of thousands". It was in part due to this classification that the tighter visa restrictions were introduced over a year ago, and ever since, a growing number of prominent figures have questioned the wisdom of such a system.

There is the strong argument that placing students within the immigration figures is not only illogical, but gives the false impression that Britain has a cap on international students. The latest group to put this case forward to the government was the Commons Business, Innovation and Skills committee report on overseas students and net migration, which argued:

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Prime Minister Encourages Indian Students to Britain

Ahead his visit to India next week, Prime Minister David Cameron has urged Indian students to come to the UK to study. After changes to visa restrictions the number of Indian students in Britain is down a quarter and there are concerns that the government's tough rhetoric on immigration has contributed to this drop.

Speaking to India's Sunrise TV, Mr Cameron emphasised that the changes to the visa system are not as strict as often thought and that Britain is still eager for international students to come to study:

"The fact is today, as we stand, and this is going to be the case going forward, there is no limit on the number of students who can come from India to study at British universities, no limit at all. All you need is a basic English qualification and a place at a British university. And what's more, after you've left a British university, if you can get a graduate-level job there is no limit to the amount of people who can stay and work, or the time that they can stay at work."

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Erik's View: Fizzy Drinks & British Immigration

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Here he gives his opinion on the British visas and the diet of young people in Britain. 

Visas & Multiculturalism in Britain

"The government had to tighten the visa norms in order to keep away the immigrants who would abuse British hospitality. Unfortunately, such measures will always have some negative effects. Some student visas might have been refused due to discrepancies in documents. A few months ago I had similar problem.

I was asked to submit two forms of ID for my employer. But I do not need two forms of ID, because as an EU citizen I can move freely with my ID card only. However, I have to abide by the fact that the British must be very careful with the legislations and understand that them double checking has nothing to do with me, but instead is there to eradicate illegal immigrants. It was a bit of problem for me, but nationally it fits into the overall policy and makes it work well. Luckily, I managed to sort out the problem by submitting my birth certificate and driving licence.

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Get the Most Out of University Open Days

University open days are a great opportunity to get a feel for what a particular institution offers, both in terms of its taught modules and its social life. They can also be overwhelming: there's sometimes so much to see and do at an open day that you're not sure where to start, especially if you haven't decided on what course you're taking yet.

You can usually find out more about what to expect from open days by visiting the university's website, but here are some general tips for getting the most out of a day at your chosen institution:

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Negative Language of UK Higher Education Criticised

A number of high profile figures in British higher education have added their voices to the growing concern at the language being used by the government. A few weeks ago, head of Universities UK Nicola Dandridge attacked the "damaging" rhetoric being used politicians when talking about international students coming to study in the UK.

Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia is the latest to question the wisdom of taking a hard line when it comes to international students:

"It has never been more urgent to underline the warmth of the UK welcome to overseas students," he said. Negative Home Office rhetoric needs to be vigorously countered by bringing home the quality and the personal care available at British universities."

There is the perception that tougher visa restrictions have made it harder for international students to study in the UK over the last couple of years. Whilst this is true to an extent, the reforms have been greatly exaggerated through the rhetoric used by politicians.

Promoting Higher Education

This series of attacks comes after statistics released earlier this month showed a slight fall in international students applying to the UK, with some alarming trends- including a 24% drop in the number of Indian students.

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