RSE responds to the Migration Advisory Committee’s inquiry into impact of international students in UK

An RSE Working Group, chaired by Professor David Cole-Hamilton, have released their response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) call for evidence on the impact of international students in the UK.

The RSE welcomes the opportunity to highlight the importance of taking into consideration the circumstances in the devolved nations as well as the UK as a whole. It has called on the UK Government to remove students from its net migration targets and to reintroduce the post-study work visa.

On the response, Professor Alan Alexander OBE, RSE General Secretary, observed:

“It is clear that a restrictive approach to immigration would be particularly harmful to Scotland. It would adversely affect international students and their contribution to Scotland’s economy, HEIs and their place in international relations. International students, both from in and outside the EU, make a valuable contribution to the UK’s economy as a whole, but particularly in Scotland, where their contribution is necessary to offset the impacts of an increasingly ageing population. The loss of this talent due to more restrictive immigration policies would seriously damage Scotland’s internationally-recognised research and teaching institutions, and in turn Scotland’s economy. Both the Scottish and UK Governments set the creation of high-value businesses and jobs, particularly in fields such as life sciences and technology, as a high priority. These fields develop from innovative research, often conducted in our universities.

“The UK Government should remove overseas students from their net migration targets and reintroduce the post-study work visa to ensure that Scotland and the UK do not lose this talent.”

The full response can be found here.