Posts Tagged ‘migration cap’

Revealed: Migration cap to cost British universities £766 million per year in lost revenue and push up fees

14/10/2011, 09:39:41 AM

by Atul Hatwal

An analysis of the government’s latest higher education funding figures by Uncut reveals that British universities will lose £766m of revenue each year as a direct result of the government’s target to cut net migration below 100,000.

The cut will inevitably increase upwards pressure on fees for domestic students, according to academics.

David Cameron renewed his commitment to the target in his speech on immigration earlier this week and to achieve the government’s target of net migration in the tens of thousands, the government’s Migration Advisory Committee has identified the need for cuts of 60% in the numbers of foreign students.

Based on the current level of net migration, 239,000 per year, a reduction of 139,000 is needed to reduce net migration below 100,000, which would mean 83,400 fewer foreign students – 60% of 139,000.

Because of European law, the UK can only bar students from outside the EU which means non-EU students will bear the full brunt of the cuts.

New government figures reveal that last year non-EU students contributed £2.6bn in fees, over 30% of the total tuition fees budget. Based on these figures a cut of 83,400 would mean a revenue shortfall of £766 million per year.

If the government wanted to plug the shortfall through the tax system, this would involve tax increases equivalent to a hike in the higher rate of income tax by 1p.

Amongst the hardest hit by the revenue reduction will be some of the country’s leading universities which have the highest proportions of foreign students.

This includes the LSE, which has 65% foreign students, Imperial College with 40% foreign students and the University of Warwick with 28% foreign students.

The result of the cuts will be greater pressure to increase fees to the maximum.

Universities will typically charge foreign students fees that are several times the level that are charged to UK students, cross-subsidising costs for domestic students.

For example, a student wanting to study a physics degree at Imperial will be charged well over £20,000 per year. This is substantially more than the £9,000 tuition fees that British university students will pay at the top annual fee rate.

The cross-subsidy will have been factored into Universities’ calculations in setting fees. A senior academic at a top five university was blunt about the costs of their degrees,

“At £9,000, we don’t even cover our costs. The actual cost for a physics degree is £14,000. Without a cross-subsidy it isn’t going to work”

In contrast to the British stance, Australia recently changed its immigration policy to make it easier for its Universities to attract high-spending foreign students, particularly from India.

Similarly, the USA and Canada don’t include foreign students in their main immigration statistics that the political debate does not prevent their universities attracting valuable overseas students.

At a time when tuition fee budgets are already under pressure and several leading universities have already started pushing to lift the £9k cap, the cuts to foreign students will further destabilise higher education funding plans in Britain.

Atul Hatwal is associate editor of Labour Uncut.

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The next Tory U-turn: immigration

17/06/2011, 08:09:09 AM

by Atul Hatwal

There it is again.

That faint squeal of tyres and slight waft of burning rubber – the hallmarks of a minister struggling to keep their policy on the road.

And now we wait for the noise to get louder, the smell more pungent, until the minister gives-in to the sliding chaos of another U-turn.

The latest threat to political pedestrians maybe a little while before it careens across the news pages, but it’s only a matter of time.

The Tory migration cap might get re-branded, re-engineered into a broad range of metrics and turned into an elasticated party hat, but the target of net migration in “the tens of thousands”, will ultimately go the same way as the NHS reforms, forest privatisation and weekly bin collections.

So far, Theresa May has been one of the quiet successes in the government, escaping relatively lightly in the gaffe stakes. She’s remained safe largely by moving slowly and not trying to reform every single piece of departmental policy within 10 minutes of arriving.

But with the migration cap, May has one of those too-good-to-be-true policies. A Jimmy Choo initiative that looked so alluring in the manifesto shop window that the Tories had to have it. But now, in government, somehow the shoe doesn’t fit, no matter what May does.

This week saw the first signs of the U-turn to come.

On Tuesday, the home secretary announced that the net numbers of foreign students in the UK would be reduced by 52,000 per year. On the face of it a major cut and a big step towards achieving the government’s target.

Except that in March, the reduction was going to be 100,000 per year.


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