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Value of international students – Letter to the Daily Mail

A version of this letter appeared in the Daily Mail on 19 June 2012

Sir
Migration Watch correctly says the Government doesn’t know how many foreign students remain in the UK after their course ends and that something must be done to address this (Mail). But it doesn’t recognise the value foreign students bring to our economy. The UK’s world-leading higher education sector is our seventh biggest export industry and contributes £6 billion a year to our economy.

What’s more, foreign students forge valuable links between the UK and other countries, often leading to lucrative commercial and diplomatic ties that eventually create jobs back here in the UK. Yes, Government needs to have better control over the system, but it also needs to start talking up the UK as a place in which to study. Unless it does so, we are in danger of putting off genuine students and damaging growth opportunities in the process.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive, London First, London WC2.

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