Nigerians, other foreign students contribute £43bn to UK economy
A parliament member in Scotland, Carol Monaghan MP, has criticised the United Kingdom Home Office for trying to restrict Nigerians and other international students from bringing their families to the UK.
Monaghan said international students have economic benefits, and denying them the opportunity to bring their relatives will cost the UK more, as the foreign students will snub the UK for other developed countries.
The parliament member said this in a Sky News video posted on Wednesday, where she spoke to her colleagues and described the immigration policy as hostile.
Ripples Nigeria earlier reported that the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, defended the migration policies of the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.
Jenrick said the number of dependents arriving in the UK based on the study visa of international students has increased to 136,000 in the year to December 2022 from 16,000 in December 2019.
The policy was proposed to reduce the number of dependents entering the UK on study visas, but Monaghan said the financial benefits of international students outweigh the purpose of the migration measures.
She revealed that in 2022, international students contributed nearly £43 billion to the UK economy, and in her constituency, they benefited £83 million.
Monaghan said the restriction will discourage international students from choosing the UK as their choice of destination for education, and this will negatively affect the financials of UK universities that are already struggling financially.
“International students make an invaluable contribution to the economy. According to the higher education policy institute, last year, (they contributed) nearly £43 billion to the UK economy. In my constituency of Glasgow Northwest alone, the economic benefit was over £83 million.
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“So, first of all, I will like to ask the minister, what assessment has been carried out on the economic impact of this change on the university sector and indeed, university towns,” Monaghan said of the economic benefits.
She defended the impact of foreign students on the UK’s development, adding, that international students will always need their families around them because they look beyond their studies in the UK.
“International students enrich our society, and they have skills that have proven ever more vital in this post-Brexit climax, which has seen the UK deprived of workers across key sectors.
“So, we are cutting labour shortages in healthcare, STEM, IT, to name but a few. How can the minister fail to recognise that this policy will simply exacerbate this?
“The reality is that many students coming to the UK look beyond their studies and want their family to be part of that experience.
“Without a way for overseas students to bring their families, many will opt to go elsewhere. And any drop in international student numbers will cause further harm to Universities that are already facing financial difficulties,” the Scottish politician revealed.
Monaghan said the Home Secretary is on an agenda against migrants and Nigerians and other international students have been caught in the crossfire.
“These policies make the Home Secretary’s agenda cristal clear, she’s launching an attack on migrants regardless of the benefits they bring to the UK.and in pursuing the short-sighted reactionary programme (sic), international students have been caught in the crossfire.
“In Scotland, international students’ contribution to university campuses and to society is celebrated, but Scotland will suffer the consequences of this misjudged policy,” she told the lawmakers.
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