Despite a small increase over the quarter, these latest figures show that government policy is succeeding in reducing inflows from outside the EU - by 50,000 over the year. Future reductions in net migration will depend on ensuring that people leave when they should. In this connection the student figures are striking. Over the past five years the average inflow of non-EU students has been 136,000 a year. But this year, for the first time, we have the number of those who came originally as students and who departed in 2012; that number is only 49,000 or about a third of the volume of arrivals. This points clearly to the student route as a very significant part of net migration.
Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, said:
"It is far too early on the basis of one quarter's figures to call this a setback to the government's policy. Student interviews and measures to ensure that students leave when they should will make a substantial difference."
Note: until 2012 the IPS was unable to break down the statistics of those leaving by the original purpose of their arrival, that has now been corrected and shows clearly that claims that nearly all students leave after their studies simply cannot be true.
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