Carol Monaghan, a member of the UK parliament, has expressed her disapproval of the new immigration policy implemented by the United Kingdom government. The policy, set to take effect in 2024, prohibits international students from bringing their family members with them to the country. Additionally, the UK Home Office recently announced that foreign students would be barred from switching from a student visa to a work visa until they have completed their studies.
Monaghan voiced her concerns about the immigration policy during a parliamentary session on Tuesday. She highlighted the valuable contributions made by international students and their families, citing their £40 billion contribution to the UK economy in 2022. Monaghan questioned the government’s decision, emphasizing the labour shortages in crucial sectors such as healthcare, STEM, and IT. She challenged the minister, asking about the economic assessments conducted regarding the impact of this policy change on the university sector.
The parliament member argued that many students who come to the UK for education also desire their families to be part of their experience. She warned that without a means for overseas students to bring their families, many would opt to study elsewhere. A decrease in international student enrollment would further harm universities that are already grappling with financial difficulties.
Meanwhile, UK universities have also expressed their opposition to the new immigration rules. Universities UK International (UUK), an organization representing universities, raised concerns about the policy, stating that it poses a threat to the country’s global success as a leading destination for international talent.
Jamie Arrowsmith, the Director of UUK said, ‘’International students make an invaluable contribution to our universities and to the UK’s economy. Building on the government’s explicit commitments and ambitions, which were clearly set out in the international education strategy, we have seen significant growth since 2019’’