Covid-19 (coronavirus):
UCU has produced advice for members. Read the latest UCU operational note here.  Find more information and updates here.

Taking action in higher education

Restrictions on students and academics will damage UK international reputation

23 November 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today warned the government against plans to limit immigration and warned restrictions on the number of students and academics able to enter the country would damage the UK's proud international reputation for education excellence.

The union was commenting after home secretary, Theresa May, announced reductions in the number of places available. The union said that although foreign students create an education industry worth billions of pounds to the UK economy every year, the benefits were not purely financial.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The UK remains one of the most popular destinations for foreign students because of our proud international reputation for excellence. We need to be able to offer places to the world's best and brightest. The last thing we want to do is send a message to academics and students that they are not welcome here.
'Foreign students bring in billions of pounds every year, but the benefits are not merely financial. UK students profit enormously from exchange programmes with foreign universities and also through mixing with, and working alongside, foreign students studying here.'
Commenting on 'bogus colleges', Sally Hunt said: 'Bogus colleges do enormous damage to the students who are ripped-off and exploited and also to our international reputation. The problem will not be solved by an arbitrary cap on student visas. A cap will inevitably drive valuable students away from UK universities, taking with them billions of pounds and denying our universities the breadth of knowledge that places them among the best in the world.'