A report published in The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom today has revealed that the government is considering cutting international students attending UK universities by up to 50%. Following a promised by home secretary Amber Rudd recently that there would be crack down on international student numbers university sources have said that they have seen documents that propose the option of cutting the intake on international students from 300,00 per year to 170,000 per year. The Brexit vote back in June 2016 had migration at its heart and the government has long pledged to reduce the number of immigrants to the country with students being the first to face cuts. Figures show that international students add more than £10.7bn to the UK economy and the plan has been branded “insane” and “politics trumping economics”. Many students are already facing difficulties getting visas having gained paces at some of the top universities. Under previous announcements it was suggested that some lower rated courses and universities would only be affected but it seems that even students of the very best universities are already experiencing problems. Examples are being seen in so called “credibility” interviews with one applicant being assumed as not a genuine applicant for not knowing the university opening times whilst another did not know the name of the vice-chancellor of the university applied to. It has been commented that domestic students are not subjected to such test and this is a deliberate attempt to slow the flow of international students. University chiefs are concerned that other countries, including Australia and Canada are already benefitting from this system by being able to take the talented international students that would have studied in the UK but were not granted visas. Long term this loss of some of the very best talent is expected to impact the calibre of students and concern has been raised that students will look to these other countries before considering British universities.
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