The UK's International Students Are an Export Worth Nurturing – Bloomberg

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The UK’s top-notch universities attract investment, train brains and build soft power. Curtailing that would be a mistake.
The more the merrier.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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Amid plenty of political and economic turmoil, Britain can still claim to be a global leader in at least one respect: Its universities are some of the world’s best. By luring students from all over, they provide a crucial source of intellectual capital, soft power and hard cash. Unfortunately, this system could soon be undermined by politics.
Alarm bells went off among British conservatives recently, when new data for the year ending in June showed a large jump in immigration. Stemming the flow of foreigners has been a longtime priority for the Tories. Yet even they recognize that the UK is woefully short of fruit pickers, nurses and other kinds of labor. As a result, the spotlight has fallen on foreign students, who make up the largest proportion of non-EU nationals entering the country and more than half of all net immigration.


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