Magazine article Times Higher Education

BIS Committee Chair Calls for Change on Visa Policy

Magazine article Times Higher Education

BIS Committee Chair Calls for Change on Visa Policy

Article excerpt

Labour's Iain Wright says David Cameron must 'decide what's best for Britain'. John Elmes reports

The government is guilty of "utter folly" by including international students in net migration targets and change can come only from David Cameron, according to the chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

Iain Wright, Labour MP for Hartlepool, told a conference that "no one thinks that it's sensible" and the issue was one that needed to go "all the way to the top, Number 10".

Mr Wright made the comments in response to a question from Anne Kiem, chief executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, after his keynote speech at the association's annual conference.

During his speech, Mr Wright mentioned four aspects of the conference that he said would be the focus of future inquiries by his select committee, including productivity and international students.

On international students, Mr Wright said he was worried about the visa regime, which has cut the time international students are allowed to remain in the UK after completion of study from two years to four months.

"It seems to me to be absolute madness to have a system whereby we educate foreign students in business and management to the highest standards anywhere in the world, only for them to leave this country before they contribute to the UK economy and apply those skills to the betterment of our competitiveness," he said. "Why on earth do we allow skills learned in this country to quickly and directly benefit other economies' productivity? …

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