Education strategy for international students in UK
Education strategy for international students newly announced in UK was abuzz with comments and opinions ranging in reaction over the weekend. Taking centre stage was the ambition to grow the sector by 30% and add £15bn to the sum raised by UK education export and TNE by 2030.
Many industry stakeholders have shared opinions, ranging from positive reception of a long-awaited policy confirmation, to derision at what they saw as a weak offer. Some in the English language teaching camp were perhaps the least enthused.
Part of the feeling the new strategy was not actually as new as promised came from the Migration Advisory Committee recommendations which the government accepted in its Immigration white paper.
Stephan Roussounis, founder of English in Cyprus and now managing director of Bayswater Education, said the policies amount to “not much of a step forward” due to limited post-study work options and no new offer to language students.
Dominic Scott, who remains chief executive of UKCISA until later this year, also noted the similarity between the strategy and the white paper, but concluded with a more hopeful analysis of the inter-governmental nature of the strategy.
“The big news is the numerical target,” he told The PIE News. “If all government departments, including and especially the Home Office got behind this and simplified our massively complex visa rules, we could really start to motor.”
Colin Bell, CEO of COBIS, went further. “The education strategy clearly articulates how the best of British education… can thrive as a global export of incalculable soft power and influence,” he said in a statement.
Bell added that he advised the Education Advisory Group at the Department of International Trade on the new strategy, and the process left him feeling positive about the government’s interaction with the sector, and production of the strategy.