Some surprising concessions have been announced in new government amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill, to be debated by Parliament later this week.
The immigration minister Damian Green gave a speech yesterday to the think tank Reform explaining the proposals set out by the UK Border Agency in its consultation on student visas.
The legal firm Pennington’s, who are experts in immigration law, suggested this week that the consultation itself could be illegal.
The Conservatives pledged to lower net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ in their General Election manifesto. Since taking office they have realized that through a quirk of data processing that counts student in net migration figures even though very few international students take up permanent residence in the UK, enacting this pledge would require drastic cuts to international student numbers.