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June 13, 2012

UK 'student visas' blasted for serving as 'back door' to Britain

     London: A campaign group in the UK has warned that student visas are being used to get back door entry into Britain, and added that this method could destroy public confidence in the government's immigration policies. Migration Watch UK said the government must tighten up the student system despite a warning from almost 70 chancellors, governors and university presidents that crackdowns could lead to foreign students going elsewhere, costing the British economy billions of pounds. The pressure group said removing overseas students from migration figures, as suggested by the chancellors, would undermine the credibility of the entire system. It added that no other major country does so for their net migration calculations. "Sadly, the student route has become the back door to Britain and it is wide open. Unlike our main competitors, we do not interview students before they come to confirm that they are genuine and there are no checks on their departure," the Daily Star quoted Sir Andrew Green, the group's chairman, as saying. Study remains the most common reason for migrants coming to the UK and the row comes after the chancellors wrote to David Cameron last month, encouraging him to do more to boost the number of overseas students even further, the paper said. The campaign group cited that Britain attracts around one in 10 students who study outside their home country, generating around 8 billion pounds a year, "with forecasts suggesting that export earnings from this activity could more than double by 2025".
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