Sometimes, we almost think the government might be nice people once you get to know them. But then we see something like this and… what?
Apparently, Theresa May and the gang have been considering cutting the amount of visas available to international students from 300,000 to 170,000.
Yeah. I’m just going to leave this totally unrelated Tenacious D song right here, in the shade. 👀
It’s not the first bone-headed decision the Home Office has made in recent years, but no prizes for guessing why we don’t like this. Cutting the number of student visas drastically reduces the number of friendships, relationships, experiences and opportunities available to young people both from home and away. Who can forget this guy’s heart-rending poem on the matter that went viral a few years ago?
It’s a move which, obviously, is greatly unfair to all the brainy students from overseas which help make our university campuses the vibrant places they are. And naturally, students themselves are far from agreeing with it.
One outraged home student from the University of Birmingham said, “We’re talking about people who work hard, got the grades, and pay billions into the economy, it’s shameful to just reduce their visas because of nothing but naked xenophobia”.
Debut’s social media manager Brenda Wong commented, saying, “This is a huge slap in the face for international students. I came to this country as one myself, and am completely dumbfounded by the sheer stupidity of this political manouvre. There are other ways to achieve the lower immigration numbers Rudd and May crave without discouraging the best and the brightest of the world from getting a first-class education.”
They weren’t too keen on the idea on Twitter either
Everyone from student to rock-star physicist had something to say about the revelations…
Completely ridiculous policy. There is absolutely no reason to cut student visa numbers. The benefits in both… https://t.co/DqszbQ1F06
— David Nicholls (@daphnescombine) 12 December 2016
— hilary malson (@hildistrict) 13 December 2016
There is no logic to artificially meeting artificial immigration targets by focusing on students. Idiotic policy. https://t.co/mg8lBqoo1e
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) 12 December 2016
Then there’s the money argument
You might argue ‘Yeah, but the government don’t care about whether you feel good. This is about the economy!’ But in that case, it’s doubly confusing when you consider the fact that it doesn’t actually make any economic sense.
How you ask? Well, according to The Guardian, international students attending our universities contributed a whopping £10.7bn to the UK economy.
Just think about that. Nearly eleven billion pounds. That’s enough chicken & chips for nearly 2/3rds of the population (especially if Bossman blesses it with an extra wing). Or, y’know, a few new schools and hospitals. And if The Guardian knows this figure, there’s no way the government doesn’t. Maybe they don’t want what is literally multiple billions of pounds? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So it not only seems that the government is ruining the amazing social fabric of uni life, but confusingly, they don’t like money either.
Why are they doing this?
So if they’re not doing it for us, why are they doing it? Well, it’s the latest in a huge post-Brexit policy storm. May and pals, like the rest of us, aren’t really sure what’s going on. So they’re reducing immigration on autopilot in an effort to ‘get our country back’ and secure more university places for ‘our own’.
But with university fees rising, who among ‘our own’ is going to be able to afford uni anyway? Purely from a common sense stand point, if students from abroad are prepared to pay the exorbitant prices, why not let them?
The whole thing’s a mess but one thing’s for sure. Internationals – we home students back you completely. If you want it, there will always be a home for you here.