‘International students make valuable contribution’ – Archibald
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said international students who attend university here make a valuable economic, cultural and social contribution.
Welcoming new data which shows no show evidence of international students over staying their visas, the Party's Further and Higher Education spokesperson said:
"Earlier this year data had been presented which indicated a disparity between arrival and departure of non-EU national students. This was based on the International Passenger Survey and fuelled misguided debate on international students. New data this week based on exit checks show this disparity to have been over-estimated.
"It must be acknowledged that international students make a very valuable contribution which is much greater than the fees paid to the institution they attend; and include economic benefits which extend to the local and wider economy.
"This has been shown in previous studies to estimate the economic value of international students.
"Alongside that is the important benefit of a more culturally diverse society, reflective of the skills and experience these students bring.
"The British government includes international students in its migration targets, this a counter-productive and regressive measure which has policy implications.
"Rather than imposing restrictions, higher education institutions and businesses should be encouraged to collaborate with counterparts overseas to attract international students and set up exchanges, to meet the demands of the increasingly global society we live in."