I read with disappointment this morning that Theresa May wants to deport foreign students as soon as they their student visa expires, assumedly straight after their course finishes, instead of the current scheme where they are allowed 4 months to find a job.
The reason for this is purportedly to stop those on student visas from overstaying their welcome.
A quick question to start. How is removing this 4 month buffer going to ensure that no students stay longer than their visa entitles them to?
Surely if someone intends on overstaying their visa – they are going to do it whether they have a 4 month buffer or not? Are we going to put them in an immigration van as soon as their last lecture finishes?
Our universities need foreign students.
Being blunt, they need their money. Native UK students have their degrees subsidised by the universities and the taxpayer and the funding from foreign students helps all students.
Why should someone pay £30,000.00 a year course fees, only to be thrown out of the country straight after? To not be given a chance to stay and find work or open a business?
There are plenty of competing countries out there and plenty of competing universities. I want the brightest international students to be studying here.
Britain is a country of immigrants and we should be doing more to attract the type of students that our universities, and subsequent employers require, to help ensure that we have the highest standards of living for all our citizens.
If there are problems with students overstaying their visas then we need to deal with the problem.
The easiest way would be to start tracking and recording those who leave the country. We could also consider imposing a system of fines to those who overstay their visa. At some point, the overstaying foreign student is likely to visit family abroad via an airport, at which point the fine should be implemented. This would also help pay for the tracking those who leave.
If Theresa May becomes leader of the Conservative Party, on current understanding of her polices, it would be difficult for a liberal Conservative, such as myself, to vote for her.
We need immigrants. We need their money. We need their skills. We need their investment. We need their ideas.
We should be embracing the brightest (and the richest) to study, work and invest in our country. We should not be pandering to UKIP.
Good taste in shoes though.