Carol Monaghan, a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom has questioned the rationale in banning international students from bring family members with them from 2024, saying the pronouncement made by the UK Home Office, on Tuesday, was likely to backfire on all fronts, with the students and their families providing skills, which had proved useful across key sectors.
Railing against the policy which said that that foreign students would also be stopped from switching from the student visa route to a work visa until their studies have been completed, Monaghan, strongly condemned it during a parliamentary sitting on Wednesday, saying the students and their families made valuable contributions to the UK, contributing £40 billion to the economy in 2022
Hear her: “With labour shortages in healthcare, STEM, IT, to name a few, how can the minister fail to recognise that this policy will aggravate these? I’d like to ask the minister, what assessments have been carried out on the economic impact of this change on the university sector?
“The reality is that many students who come into the UK look beyond their studies and want their families to be part of their experience. Without a way for overseas students to bring their families, many will opt to go elsewhere and any drop in international students numbers will cause further harm to universities that are already facing financial difficulties.”
The lawmaker was not the only one, as some universities in the country, have also kicked against the country’s new immigration rules, with the Universities UK International (UUK), a body of universities, saying the move was a threat to the country’s global success as a top destination for international talent.
The Director, UUK, Jamie Arrowsmith said, “International students make an invaluable contribution to our universities and to the UK’s economy. Building on the government’s explicit commitments and ambitions, which were clearly set out in the international education strategy, we have seen significant growth since 2019.”