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One Year On: Challenges and Progress in Campaigning for Immigration Reform for International Students Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "One Year On: Challenges and Progress in Campaigning for Immigration Reform for International Students Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 One Year On: Challenges and Progress in Campaigning for Immigration Reform for International Students Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students Officer 6 th December 2013 LSE: ‘New Migration Regimes and Higher Education’

2 Presentation Overview Overview of the current political situation Potential opportunities/challenges Update on NUS past and current campaigns

3 What we all know…. 2015 General Election Completely Political International Students

4 Major Developments




8 Source: ONS

9 The Political Scene Source: ONS

10 S tudy-related sponsored visa applications for visas by sector Universities Further education English language schools Independent schools YE Dec 10143,13065,43919,25314,478 YE Mar 11154,63098,76522,37016,627 YE Jun 11161,160113,61220,56817,397 YE Sep 11154,574100,43115,94416,943 YE Dec 11152,47984,05011,47616,168 YE Mar 12150,13654,7626,47014,836 YE Jun 12154,12535,3794,07514,172 YE Sep 12155,81433,7433,75014,087 YE Dec 12156,53532,5003,58913,937 YE Mar 13157,24029,7313,47013,798 YE Jun 13159,73426,4773,42313,778 YE Sep 13167,26223,1453,44613,763 Source: ONS

11 “52% of overseas students in the UK say the Government's migration cap makes them feel less welcome in the country.” (YouthSight, 2013)

12 Challenges

13 “ We are determined to prevent abuse of the student route as part of our plans to get net migration down to the tens of thousands. But we are not harming genuine students – latest student visa and UCAS application figures show that our changes are having the right effect. More university students are coming here and bogus students are being kept out. There is no limit on the number of students who can come to the UK.” - Mark Harper (Pie News)





18 Key Challenges 2015 General Election. –Net migration is at 182,000. –No real room for manoeuvre Rise of UKIP & Government Rhetoric –Hoist by their own Petard Labour Opportunism –Short-term student visitor visas. –Not vocal enough on issue of students in net migration.

19 Opportunities

20 Who Should be admitted to Britain % wanting current numbers maintained or increased % wanting fewer immigrants of none in this group Net Support for current or increased numbers Wealthy people looking to invest in Britain 7119+52 People wanting to study at UK universities 6825+43 People with high education, skills and looking for work 6329+34 People looking to work in the NHS 5039+11 People fleeing war or persecution 4838+10 People wanting to join relatives already here 3357-24 People with low education, skills and looking for work 1372-59 Source: YouGov

21 Opportunities



24 Key Opportunities Public Perception on International Students Shift from Labour on International Students BIS Industrial Strategy

25 Key Recommendations General Election International Education “Blueprint” Target the Public Should we move away from “numbers” to “perception”?

26 Work of NUS

27 Work of NUS Last Year


29 The International Student Experience Government Policy Actual Implementation Visa DelaysVisa Costs Police Registration Post-Study Work Working Rights

30 The Immigration Bill

31 1. The Government is proposing to introduce a charge for all non-EEA international students coming to the UK to use the NHS. We believe that the introduction of healthcare charges of up to £200 per person per year of study is discriminatory, counter-intuitive and impractical. In particular, for postgraduate research students with families this could mean an additional visa fee of £3000 before even stepping foot into the UK.

32 Key Proposals 2. The Government will introduce fines for any private landlord who does not ensure their tenants have the right to remain in the UK. We believe this will effectively make unregulated and untrained private landlords a new branch of the UK border police, which is not their responsibility. This proposal would also apply to everyone in the UK despite their citizenship, and make it difficult for those without documentation to obtain adequate housing. We are calling on the Government to scrap this unnecessary proposal which, when directed at students, could result in discrimination and duplication of existing heavy-handed immigration controls on students.

33 Key Proposals 3. The bill removes the right to appeal for international students who apply for a visa or visa extension in country. Government statistics show that 50% of in- country appeals were upheld last year and that 70% of these were due to errors in the application process. NUS does not support removing the right to appeal a Home Office decision when the system remains so flawed.

34 10 Reasons Against The Bill 1. These changes will affect international students the most as they make up 75% of those subject to visa controls. From that group they are already the most heavily regulated and monitored. 2. International students will choose other countries who do not impose these restrictions over the UK. The immigration bill seeks to drive more international students to other countries, to the detriment of UK education. 3. 52% of recently surveyed international students already feel unwelcome to the UK because of Government policy. These changes are likely to cause a further negative perception of the UK as a place to study.

35 10 Reasons Against The Bill 4. Charging international students access to the NHS because they apply for their visa, come to the UK to spend on average £36,000 on tuition alone, and are checked when they arrive on campus is introducing another unfair tax. 5. International students, already contribute £7.9 billion (BIS 2012) to the UK economy. International students make up less than 1% of the UK population but contribute an amount almost 7% of the total NHS budget of £108.9 billion. 6. Research from the University of Sheffield has proven that even with costs to public services such as the NHS is taken into account, international students already make a net contribution of over £120 million year to the city of Sheffield alone.

36 10 Reasons Against The Bill 7. Private landlords are not the UK’s border patrol. Without the training and regulation required, landlords will turn away anyone they think might be international to avoid having to undertake the required checks. This will not only impact international students but other students who may not have their passport or birth certificate readily available to prove their right to stay in the UK. 8. Landlord checks will lead to racial profiling by those seeking to avoid the complicated nature of checking someone’s immigration status, a requirement left until now to certified and trained individuals in the employ of the Home Office

37 10 Reasons Against the Bill 9. These changes are impractical and divisive. It will be difficult for all students to gather together the correct documents within the short timeframe required to secure a property. This could result in further segregation between international and home students, or in fact those perceived by landlords as being home or international. 10. There is a danger therefore that these proposals could have the effect of turning certain students over to a dangerous and illegal subsector of non-law abiding landlords, many of whom already prey on those who are unable to find accommodation elsewhere.

38 RG University Survey

39 Upcoming Campaigns

40 The Sector is NOT completely innocent 1.Attendance Monitoring 2.Graduation Dates

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