DEVON business and education bosses have welcomed signs that the Prime Minister Teresa May – is rethinking her insistence on including foreign students’ in the migration figures.
For nearly four years the chief executive of Clever Student Lets, Henry Hutchins has been leading the South West business campaign for Ministers to drop international students’ from official immigration figures.
The government is under serious pressure to change its policy following regional data by Clever Student Lets, Santander Bank, and the University of Plymouth, where the city could lose millions of pounds in foreign student revenue – if the policy is not reversed – and will go to rival countries in Ireland, Malta, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, said Mr Hutchins.
Mr Hutchins, said: “We were the first in the South West to spend £5,000 on a data report into Plymouth’s student export market that creates thousands of jobs and over £305 million to the Plymouth economy every year.”
“New research from British universities also says foreign students’ bring almost £11 billion into the UK and create over 170,000 jobs,” he said.
The shift follows a private warning from Home Secretary Amber Rudd that the Government is likely to lose a Commons vote on the issue later this year when the new Immigration Bill comes to Parliament.
Clever Student Lets are the biggest student accommodation provider in the South West with over 3,000 units, and a turnover of £15.5 million every year.
Mr Hutchins, added: “We must keep up the pressure on the Government so Ministers understand that foreign students’ are a great asset to our local universities and economy – and spend money and create jobs.”
“They also bring soft power for our world beating educational institutions and language schools on the global stage – and more than ever – we need this foreign student market post Brexit.”
Many of the businesses supporting Plymouth’s student economy: