British universities decry proposed curbs on international student numbers

February 2, 2011

Vice-chancellors at British universities have described the UK government's proposal to curb the number of foreign students as a "hostile act" against their institutions. They warn that changes to the student immigration system would "savagely cut" recruitment, lose at least £1 billion in fees, and jeopardize the future of STEM subjects. Britain's immigration minister insists the impact would be restricted to below-degree courses, particularly those in private continuing education colleges, and that ministers would "do nothing" to prevent overseas students coming to study at "our world-class academic institutions above or below degree level." One vice-chancellor states that 30% to 50% of international students at British universities would be affected by the curbs as they went through "pathway courses," particularly in the English language, in preparation for degree-level courses. The Guardian