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September 28, 2012

UK Govt told not to include overseas students in immigration figures

     London: The Boarding Schools Association (BSA) has urged the British Government to remove overseas pupils from net immigration figures. In a letter to Immigration Minister Mark Harper, the BSA said including these pupils risked driving them away. It said that overseas students brought in nearly 510 million pounds in fees alone last year. John Newton, the head of Taunton School , said the students were ‘exactly what government would like international students to be - temporary migrants’. According to the BBC, in the letter, Newton , a member of the BSA’s national executive committee, urged the minister ‘to consider, most seriously and urgently, removing from the student immigration figures those international students coming to attend our member schools’. “To discourage them in any way, to send the message that they are dangerous and not wanted, despite their youth, is to send them straight to other markets for education in Australia and in the United States, to damage valuable schools for whom international students are commercially vital, and to do serious harm to the British economy when it is already fragile,” he said. The government has already said it wants to develop a new system of student migration in and out of the UK , but the debate has so far focused on university or college students, the report said. The Boarding Schools Association letter assured Harper: “Ours is a safe sector as compliant as UK Border Agency (UKBA) could wish, and our incoming students are as safe a category of student as you could devise... no students are likely to be as safe as those attending the reputable boarding schools in our membership. "Parents wanting their children back, in good health and in good order and with excellent examination results, is the reason these school pupils should be removed from the student numbers," it added.
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