British Prime Minister Theresa May has been under pressure from left-wingers in her own party to reconsider her stance on including international students in net migration figures.
British media reports indicate that Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have all reportedly warned of the potential damage of including students in the country’s net migration statistics.
The inclusion of international students in the net migration figures has been observed as a contributing factor to higher visa fees and more restrictive visa policy in recent years. Removing international students from the net migration figures could help the government reach its long-term target of cutting net migration to under 100,000.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis wrote, “As long as students leave at the end of their studies, they should not be significantly contributing to net migration, therefore there is no conflict between our commitment to reduce net migration and to attract international students,”
However, despite the view of Amber Rudd and other senior cabinet figures, the prime minister is still resisting making the change.