SOUTH WEST BID TO CHANGE IMMIGRATION POLICY
DEVON business leaders are calling on the British government to take international students out of the net migration figures, and change a policy that is hurting one of the South West region’s most successful invisible export sectors – the ‘English language educational market’.
Henry Hutchins, chief executive of Clever Student Lets, said: “We are damaging a crucial source of revenue and soft power for the UK, with a policy that needs to change, and we are working with other city organisations to influence this policy with all the main political parties.”
Plymouth Conservative MP Oliver Colvile on a recent visit to Clever Student Lets HQ offices based on North Hill, wanted to see for himself how the business is delivering state-of-the-art accommodation for foreign and UK students, investing millions of pounds into the heart of the city, and meeting the team and students.
Mr Colvile, added: “Plymouth has always been an outward looking city, and our education sector is strategically vital to our growth and jobs plans. I’m happy to raise this issue with Ministers in London to look at this policy and to ensure we attract students that can afford to be educated here.”
Neil Pick, chief executive of Tellus Group, said: “The government needs to look at this seriously, and we urge decision makers in Whitehall to recognise the importance of the English language and the added value this learning sector contributes to the British economy to the tune of £2.5 billion every year and growing.”
Six parliamentary committees have called on the government to take students out of the migration targets, and Plymouth business leaders are looking to shape policies ahead of the next election to create a debate around this successful and invisible sector that needs to come out of the shadows, added Mr Pick.
Tellus Group has been successfully providing educational services since 2003, and through its Meridian School of English since 1979, and welcomes over 5,000 students every year to its Plymouth and Portsmouth offices.
Clever Student Lets is an unrivalled student property provider in Plymouth and looking to expand across the UK.
Picture: Oliver Colvile and Henry Hutchins of Clever Student Lets