International students at risk from new EU rulesAugust 16, 2013
New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK rose by nearly 26% between April and June. As the rules regarding the type of jobs nationals from these two countries can do within the UK are relaxed in 2014, it seems inevitable that numbers will rise even further next year.
At London First, we are concerned that these new EU rules will have a detrimental effect on international students wanting to work in the UK.
Despite the majority of international students only being here temporarily while they study, the Government classes them as permanent migrants for the purpose of its net migration target. Consequently, with little power over influxes from the EU, or emigration from the UK, the burden to meet the ‘tens of thousands’ target is increasingly falling on this group of extremely valuable migrants. The consequence of this is that our eighth biggest export industry, valued at £8 billion, is being hampered, with our English-speaking international competitors reaping the benefits.
Although the Government has been clear that international students will not be removed from the target during this Parliament, London First continues to campaign for a sensible approach to immigration, and a policy that is not based on populism, but that instead welcomes those who add economic value to our country, and deters those who do not.