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Concern over fall in students from India and Pakistan

The Coalition's immigration promises threaten to endanger the UK's economy, statistics show. The number of Indian and Pakistani students at British universities has sharply dropped over the past year as a result of tougher anti-immigration legislation

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Photo credit: US Embassy Pakistan
Photo credit: US Embassy Pakistan
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The Coalition's immigration promises threaten to endanger the UK's economy, statistics show. The number of Indian and Pakistani students at British universities has sharply dropped over the past year as a result of tougher anti-immigration legislation

Since overseas students generate around £8bn annually for the economy, this is a genuine concern for economic prospects.

The number of Indian students fell by 23.5%, whereas the number of Pakistani students dropped by 13.4% over the same period. Although the increase in students from China by 16.9% ensured that the number of non-EU students still marginally increased, the drop in students from certain regions suggests that they are turning to competitors like Australia, Canada and the US.

During their time in office the government has made significant reforms to immigration policy. Visas for students outside of the EU are now harder to come by, and workers too have been targeted with a minimum salary requirement of £20,000.

The government claims that this new legislation is necessary to crackdown on abuses of the system. The London Metropolitan University's licence to enrol students from outside the EU was revoked earlier this year, and similar accusations have been raised against 'bogus applicants' at other universities.

However, Theresa May's announcement that over 100,000 overseas applicants would be interviewed by consular staff prior to their acceptance takes these necessary steps further.

Income from students outside of the UK is essential to the survival of these institutions. In fact, universities receive a third of their tuition fee income and 10% of their overall income from them.

As the UK is increasingly reliant on a service-oriented economy, creative minds are needed more than ever, no matter their background. Boris Johnson echoes these concerns, calling the policies 'crazy'.

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, still insists that the UK's immigration policy is allowing "the brightest and the best" to be admitted. However, the severity of the regulations suggests that the government is buckling under popular pressure to meet immigration targets, shooting its own foot in the process.

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