“You Are Welcome, But…”: Cutbacks in Student Immigration—Review of Policy and Practice of Inward Student Mobility in UK Higher Education

By Gautam Rajkhowa.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 4, 2014 $US5.00

International student mobility has changed significantly over the last two decades. In 2011, the estimated number of students enrolled outside of their country of citizenship was almost 4.1 million, an increase of 99 percent since 2000 (OECD 2012).Over the last decade, higher education institutions in the UK have witnessed a large rise in the number of overseas student enrolments. From 2011-2012 the UK attracted 435,230 overseas students. Of this 70% were students from outside the European Union (UKCISA 2012, HESA). There is significant evidence to suggest that overseas students deliver significant economic benefits to the UK: estimates range from 3.48 billion to 40 billion pounds annually (Mc Neill 2011). This paper examines the development of policy and practice of inward student mobility in UK higher education and the likely impact of the United Kingdom (UK) government's recent drive to cut student immigration on the sector and beyond. Focusing on published sources of information, the paper concludes that whilst this policy is likely to achieve the UK government’s immediate goal of reducing net migration, in the long term this is likely to have a lasting negative impact on the competiveness and attraction of higher education in the UK. Suggesting that students should not be a part of the migration figures, the paper recommends an alternative method for recording such movements.

Keywords: International Student Mobility, Student Immigration, Internationalistaion, Higher Education Policy, Migration

The Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 6, Issue 4, April 2014, pp.37-53. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 304.641KB)).

Gautam Rajkhowa

Senior Lecturer, Chester Business School, University of Chester, Chester, Cheshire, UK

Gautam Rajkhowa is senior lecturer and the business policy and programme director for the full time MBA programe at the University of Chester, UK. His teaching covers strategy, international business, service management, and business ethics at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. He is particularly interested in understanding organisational responses to broader environment issues in the business landscape and translating this into a vehicle for use in the classroom. His research is focused on issues related to the internationalisation of higher education--in particular, the strategic issues in the competitive world of higher education. As programme director of the full time MBA programme at University of Chester, he works closely with students from across the world and with diverse education and cultural backgrounds. He also works closely with mature students from across the world on distance learning programmes which use both paper-based as well as technology-mediated platforms. Gautam has presented his work at several international conferences including the World University Forum in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012. Prior to moving to academia in 1994, Gautam spent over 12 years in executive education, product management, and market development in the information technology solutions space.


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