1. Are international students of value to Britain?
Yes, provided that they intend to return at the end of their studies. Students pay fees and contribute to local economies through their living expenses. They also take their expertise when they leave which benefits their home country. Once home, they are more likely to do business with Britain. If students stay on in the UK they add to our population growth and the pressure on our public services.
2. Do foreign students go home?
An analysis of the cohort of people issued visas in 2004 carried out by the Home Office found that 20% of students were still legally in the UK after 5 years; many of those will stay on permanently by reason of marriage or employment. This does not mean however that the other 80% of students left after 5 years. The UK does not yet have full exit checks so the number that actually left cannot be determined
The student route is abused by people whose real intention is to come to the UK to work. A recent study by the National Audit Office estimated that, in the first year of the Points Based System, 40-50,000 individuals may have entered the UK on a student visa to work rather than study.
A recent Home Office pilot study found that in India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Burma, over 50% of applicants who were interviewed to assess their credibility would have failed – many on the grounds that the Entry Control Officer. (ECO) was not convinced that they were genuine students and that they planned to remain in the UK on a temporary basis.
To see the full Briefing Paper No 12.5 click here
 Home Office Research Report 43, The Migrant Journey, September 2010, URL: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/horr43/horr43-summary?view=Binary
 National Audit Office, Immigration: The Points Based System – Student Route, March 2012, URL: http://www.nao.org.uk//idoc.ashx?docId=0f549a94-58b6-4080-8a93-fb6aa9bb4b5e&version=-1
 Home Office, Tier 4 Student Credibility Pilot, Analysis of Quantitative and Qualitative Data, July 2012, URL: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/occ104