The Liberal Democrats have seized on fresh research showing that three quarters of the British public say they welcome foreign students after learning how much they contribute to the UK economy. Theresa May has sought to clamp down on foreign students, counting them as immigrants at a time when it is seeking to reduce the headline migration figures.
Liberal Democrat education spokesperson John Pugh MP said:
“The British public seems to grasp what the British government is incapable of understanding – that students from overseas make a huge contribution to our economy, and indeed our society.
“Only one in four people think of foreign students as migrants, which shows that Theresa May is completely out of touch with public opinion.
“Foreign students contribute an eye-watering £26bn to the UK economy, yet the Conservatives, who once delighted in the title of ‘the party of business’, are prepared to lose all that money. This is hindering their post-Brexit plans as India has made clear it will not do a trade deal with Britain unless we adopt a sensible policy on students.
“This just underlines how you can’t have a hard Brexit and a thriving higher education system.”